SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KNWA/KFTA) — A federal public defender has been appointed as co-counsel for the defendant facing charges stemming from the kidnapping and death of a pregnant Arkansas woman.
Amber Waterman, 42, was charged with kidnapping resulting in death and her husband, Jamie Waterman, 42, was charged with being an accessory after the fact to kidnapping resulting in death in the Western District of Missouri federal court on November 4, 2022.
On January 25, Waterman filed a motion asking the court to appoint the federal public defender of the District of Nevada as co-counsel in her case. U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush granted that request on January 27 and signed an order instructing attorney Kimberly Sharkey to file a notice of appearance.
The January 25 filing noted that Sharkey has “extensive capital defense experience and is well qualified as ‘learned counsel.'” The motion added that Sharkey has represented indigent defendants in state and federal criminal cases for over 20 years, with a majority of that experience coming in capital cases.
Court documents state that Amber Waterman abducted Ashley Bush, 33, “for the purpose and benefit of claiming Ashley Bush’s child as the defendant’s child,” and that she transported her across state lines, from Arkansas to Missouri. Bush was reported missing to the Benton County Sheriff’s office at approximately 6:30 p.m. on October 31 and she and her unborn child were found dead in different locations in Missouri days later.
Waterman’s federal trial is scheduled to begin on June 5.