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ST. LOUIS – A Cape Girardeau man who murdered his wife in 2011 and then helped write a tell-all book while behind bars was sentenced to 35 years in prison Tuesday in federal court.

Clay Waller, 45, pleaded guilty in October to interstate domestic violence charges.

During his plea, Waller admitted to threatening his estranged wife, Jacque Sue Waller, on numerous occasions, going as far to say that if she divorced him she would be signing her own death warrant.

Waller said he dug a grave for his wife on May 31, 2011 on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River near Devil’s Island. The next day, he beat and strangled her at his home in Jackson, Missouri after the two had met with their divorce attorney. Waller then took her body back across the river and buried her in the grave he’d dug the day prior.

Besides the prison term, Waller is barred from profiting from the book in any fashion.

The disappearance of Jacque Waller, a mother of five-year-old triplets, attracted nationwide attention.