CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) – A southeast Missouri man who killed his estranged wife and buried her body on a Mississippi River island has been transferred from a federal prison in Florida to a state prison in Missouri.
Missouri Department of Corrections spokesman David Owen said Tuesday that Clay Waller is now at the state prison in Fulton. He pleaded guilty in 2013 to second-degree murder in the death of Jacque Waller and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Concurrent to the murder sentence, Waller had been serving a five-year federal sentence for online threats against Jacque Waller’s sister, Cheryl Brenneke. That sentence was about to expire, prompting the move.
The Wallers, parents of triplets, had lived apart for three months when they met with an attorney to finalize their divorce on June 1, 2011. Authorities say that was the day Clay Waller strangled and beat his 39-year-old wife to death in a rage over the threat of bankruptcy, divorce and losing his children.
The intensive search for her body drew international attention. Despite the lack of a body, Clay Waller was charged with first-degree murder. Cape Girardeau County prosecutors eventually agreed to the lesser second-degree murder charge if he led them to his wife’s remains.
Missouri law requires Waller to serve at least 85 percent of the state sentence.
Brenneke has adopted the couple’s triplets, who are now 10.
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