CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) - A southeast Missouri father of triplets suggested to his father that he had broken his estranged wife's neck and buried her in a hole that he dug in advance, court records show.
The details were disclosed in a one-paragraph FBI supplemental affidavit admitted into evidence in federal court Monday during a detention hearing for Clay Waller, who is being held in solitary confinement at the Pemiscot County Jail. Federal prosecutors are asking that he be held without bond.
The affidavit also said that Waller's father, Clay Waller Sr., told two police officers that when his son tearfully admitted to killing his 39-year-old wife, Jacque, he made a motion with his arms that suggested he broke her neck. It says he told his father he buried the woman in a pre-dug hole.
The Southeast Missourian reported (http://bit.ly/nA7JYD ) that the father said he told his son to turn himself in to the authorities or seek psychiatric treatment.
Jacque Waller has been missing since June 1. Waller has not been charged in her disappearance but is facing federal charges of making Internet threats against his wife's sister, Cheryl Brenneke. He also faces state charges of stealing and harassment.
Waller was the last known person to see his wife and has been called a suspect by a state prosecutor.
Federal prosecutor Larry Ferrell said last week that the Jacque Waller case is relevant to the Internet threat case because it suggests that Waller threatened Jacque before he killed her and he might do the same to the sister.
But Waller's federal public defender, Scott Tilsen, called the father's mental state into question during Monday's detention hearing. Clay Waller Sr. is 71 and resides in an assisted living facility.
"He has irrational periods where he does not speak rationally," Tilsen told the judge. "I think that affects the reliability of the content of those comments."
Ferrell said that it is "absolutely false" and that Clay Waller Sr. has no problem recalling and presenting information.
Magistrate judge Lewis Blanton ruled that that hearsay evidence is admissible in a detention hearing. Judges typically rule within 48 hours in detention hearings.
If convicted in the Internet threat case, Waller faces five years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.