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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) - A lawyer says a southeast Missouri man will plead guilty to killing his estranged wife, a mother of triplets.

Public defender Christopher Davis told The Associated Press that Clay Waller will confess to killing 39-year-old Jacque Waller at a Thursday hearing. Jacque Waller's body was found on a Mississippi River island May 29.

Davis would not say Wednesday whether Clay Waller led police to his wife's body. She had been missing since June 1, 2011, the same day the couple met with a divorce lawyer. Police said they had been living apart for about three months and had financial problems.

Waller was charged last year with first-degree murder, even though his wife's body had not been found at that time. He pleaded not guilty at the time.

Published in Local News

A guilty plea is expected when Clay Waller appears in court this week. Waller is accused of murdering his wife, Jacque Waller. She went missing after telling people she was going to meet with her estranged husband in 2011. Search teams found her body last week across the river from Cape Girardeau. Clay Waller is already in prison for harassing Jacque's sister. If he submits the anticipated plea, the next step would be setting a sentencing date. The couple's triplets are now seven years old and live with Jacque's sister.

 

Published in Local News

CHESTER, Ill. (AP) - A southern Illinois judge has ordered a mental evaluation of a man accused of setting a house fire that killed four children.

The mental fitness examination for 33-year-old Derrick Twardoski was requested Monday by James Kelley, his Randolph County public defender.

A hearing on the testing's outcome is scheduled for June 20.

Twardoski has pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder in the May 10 deaths in Percy, a village about 60 miles southeast of St. Louis. The fire killed siblings ages 12, 9 and 5-year-old twins.

The county's state's attorney, Jeremy Walker, has said he doesn't consider the fire random. Although he's declined to say why authorities suspect Twardoski set it or whether Twardoski knew anyone who lived in the home.

 
Published in Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - A jury has found a 34-year-old man guilty of first-degree murder in the beating deaths of five of his ex-wife's relatives in central Illinois.

The verdict in the trial of Christopher Harris was announced Friday.

In sometimes tearful testimony, Harris admitted to killing 14-year-old Dillen Constant. But Harris said he did so only after the teenager bashed the rest of his family to death at their home in Beason in September 2009.

Harris was also accused in the deaths of Dillen's mother, Ruth Gee; his stepfather, Rick Gee; his 16-year-old sister, Justina Constant; and 11-year-old stepbrother Austin Gee.

Harris' brother, Jason Harris, testified that Christopher Harris told him he killed all five victims after a night of drinking and drug use.

 

Published in Local News
Thursday, 30 May 2013 16:26

Remains of Jacque Waller found

Almost two years to the day after Jacque Waller went missing, Cape Girardeau authorities say they found her body.

Waller, the mother of triplets, went to meet with her estranged husband Clay Waller on June 1, 2011. The two were getting together to talk about their divorce. Jacque was not seen alive after that meeting. Clay Waller was already facing murder charges for allegedly killing Jaque.

He is already in jail for harassing Jacque's sister.

 

Published in Local News

CHICAGO (AP) - Police say a Chicago man charged in the death of a 6-month old girl was gang member who was retaliating for the theft of a video game console.

   Sally Daly, a spokeswoman for the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, says Koman Willis is charged with first-degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm. A bond hearing is set for Tuesday.

 

   Jonylah Watkins was killed March 11 while sitting in her father's lap in a minivan. Police say the dad, Jonathan Watkins, was the intended target. Watkins was seriously wounded.

 

   The shooting took place in the middle of the day in the Woodlawn neighborhood on Chicago's South Side. It was one of several earlier this year that brought attention to the gang violence in Chicago.

Published in National News

Charges are filed against the former police officer who shot a man during an argument last night.

James Little faces several charges including 1st degree murder for shooting and killing Will Dupree. St. Louis Police say Little was dropping his child off at the home of the child's mother. That is when Little and Dupree started arguing. The incident escalated and Little allegedly shot Dupree several times.

Dupree was pronounced dead that scene. Little once served as a police officer, but left the force in 2007.

Published in Local News

Still very little information after a man was shot and killed in north St. Louis this morning.

Police say they found 20-year-old Jermaine Johnson on the street near the city's border with Pine Lawn around 2 AM. Witnesses told officers they heard the gunshots, but did not know much more about the shooting.

Published in Local News

   The murder of a north city teen is bringing a community together in an effort to combat violence.  His family watched in horror as 16 year old Pierre Childs was shot in the back in front of his home May 7th. Police have no suspects in his murder.  

   Tuesday night the teen's family, police and a group called "Positive Alternatives for Youth, Inc." held a town hall meeting to work on a plan to curb violence in north St. Louis.  The plan includes drug sweeps and increased police patrols along with workforce training and GED classes.  

   St. Louis Police Major Ronnie Robinson says his department is backing the plan. "This is an issue for us, a very important issue of concern because of the fact that summertime is coming," he said.  "And you know, as the hotter it gets, sometimes it gets more aggressive on the streets as far as criminal activity is concerned."

   It's not known yet if Mayor Francis Slay or the Board of Aldermen will do the same.

 
Published in Local News

The town of Percy, Illinois said a final farewell to the four children killed in last Friday's house fire.

12-year-old Ethan, 9-year-old Kailey, and 5-year-old twins Brandon and Landon Owen died in the fire. Their parents and a cousin escaped the burning home. Derrick Twardoski faces four murder charges in connection to the fire.

Prosecutors say they believe they know why he set the fire, but are not releasing the motive ahead of the trial.

 

Published in Local News

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