Clay Waller Pleads Guilty to Wife’s Murder, Sentenced to 20 Years

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

JACKSON, MO (KTVI) - Clay Waller entered a guilty plea on Thursday to 2nd degree murder in the death of his estranged wife, Jacque Waller.  The plea agreement came with a 20 year sentence.

Jacque Waller's family did not feel the 20 year sentence was long enough but they accepted it because the deal allowed them to find Jacque`s body.  Clay Waller agreed to tell authorities where he buried his wife in exchange for the sentence.

When Clay Waller entered the courthouse, he was handcuffed and chained at the ankles.  He rarely raised his head and kept it bowed forward during most of his appearance.

Waller admitted in court that he hit Jacque Waller in the head repeatedly, pinned her neck down with his forearm and put the full weight of his body on top of her until she stopped breathing.

"I did that," said Clay Waller under oath.  He said he lost his temper.

Jacque Waller's sister delivered a powerful victim`s impact statement before the judge accepted the plea agreement.

"I would like to think a little jailhouse justice is in your future," said Cheryl Brennecke.  She stood just a few feet from Clay Waller as he continued to stand with his head down in front of the judge.

Brennecke shouted at one point, "Was it worth it Clay? Was it worth it?"

Then she asked him if Jacque haunts him or if he sees images of the light going out of her eyes.

"You robed those children of the most beautiful loving mother they could ever have," Brennecke told Waller.

She also recorded an audio messaged from Clay and Jacque`s 7-year-old son Maddox.

On the recording, Maddox said," You're just a big fat jerk."  The recording ended with the boy saying this would be the last time Clay Waller would hear from him.  Clay Waller appeared to show no emotion.

Jacque Waller's parents were inside the courtroom and could not believe how their daughter`s killer stood without expression.

"Maddox's statement there in court would have had an ordinary person, ordinary father lying on the floor crying," said Stan Rawson, Jacque Waller`s father.

Jacque's parents say the 20 year sentence is not the ideal punishment but because of the plea deal they can now bury their daughter.

"We have to bury her and let the kids go on with their lives," said, Ruby Rawson, Jacque Waller's mother.   "At least they know where she is."

Jacque Waller's body was found in Illinois so there is still a chance Clay Waller could face charges in that state.  There is also a chance he could face federal charges.

Brennecke says she will continue to care for her sister`s children and give them the best life possible.  "I had to tell them what their dad did but I also told them that their mom would not want them to be sad."

Previous story: Jacque Waller’s Body Found After 2 Years