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Missouri man pleads not guilty in kidnapping of pregnant Maysville woman

by Tracy Neal | December 6, 2022 at 9:10 a.m.
J. Waterman

SPRINGFIELD -- The husband of the Missouri woman accused of killing a pregnant woman and her child pleaded not guilty to a charge related to kidnapping.

Jamie Waterman, 42, of Pineville, entered the plea Monday in federal court in Springfield. He's charged with one count of being an accessory after the fact to kidnapping resulting in death. The indictment accuses him of assisting his wife in order to hinder and prevent her apprehension, trial and punishment, knowing she committed the offense of kidnapping resulting in death.

He faces up to 15 years in prison and a fine up to $125,000.

An accelerated jury trial is set for Jan. 9 for Waterman before District Judge Stephen R. Bough, and a pretrial conference is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Dec. 14 before Magistrate Judge David P. Rush.

Amber Waterman, 42, of Pineville, is charged federally with one count of kidnapping resulting in death. The indictment alleges between Oct. 31 and Nov. 2, she kidnapped Ashley Bush of Maysville, Ark., in order to claim Bush's unborn child as her own. She's accused of taking Bush from Maysville to Pineville, and the indictment alleged the kidnapping resulted in Bush's death.

Benton County prosecutors have charged Amber Waterman with two counts of capital murder and kidnapping in connection with the deaths of Ashley Bush and her baby. Prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty.

Charges beyond the federal kidnapping charge haven't been filed against Jamie Waterman because the evidence hasn't revealed he participated in a crime in Arkansas, according to Benton County Prosecuting Attorney Nathan Smith.

An arraignment and scheduling conference is set for 9:30 a.m. Friday in Rush's courtroom for Amber Waterman.

Bush, who was 31 weeks pregnant, was last seen in the passenger seat of an older, tan pickup on Oct. 31 at the intersection of Arkansas 72 and Arkansas 43 in Maysville, according to a Nov. 1 post on the Benton County Sheriff's Office Facebook page.

A person who called herself "Lucy" picked up Bush on Oct. 31 in Maysville, according to court documents. Authorities said they suspect Amber Waterman was "Lucy."

Bush's body was found three days later in Missouri. The body of her baby -- Valkyrie Grace -- was found in a different location in Missouri, according to court documents.

Jamie Waterman told authorities his wife showed him Bush's body, which was near their home, according to court documents. He said they burned the body and took the charred remains to another location.

Jamie Waterman later led authorities to Bush's charred body, according to the affidavit. FBI agents found a charred human hand and bone fragments in a burn pit behind the residence, the affidavit says.

The Watermans are both being held without bond in the Greene County, Mo., Jail.

photo Jamie Waterman

Print Headline: Man pleads not guilty in pregnant woman’s kidnapping

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