SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KNWA/KFTA) — Jamie Waterman waived a formal reading of his indictment and entered a not guilty plea in federal court in Missouri.
Waterman, 42, was charged with being an accessory after the fact to kidnapping resulting in death after an Arkansas woman and her unborn child were found dead near Waterman’s Missouri residence earlier this month. He appeared in person with his attorney, Shane Cantin, in the Western District of Missouri federal court on November 28.
Waterman’s wife, Amber Waterman, 42, was charged with kidnapping resulting in death. Court documents state that she 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 her charred body was discovered by investigators on November 3. Jamie Waterman allegedly led police to the spot and confessed to burning the body.
The McDonald County Sheriff’s Office says that Bush’s unborn baby was found in a separate location on November 2. According to Benton County Prosecutor Nathan Smith, Bush died from an apparent gunshot wound.
The Watermans are each being held in federal custody in the Greene County Jail in Missouri after the government noted that a pretrial release of the suspects would “present a substantial risk to the victim(s) and the community.”
U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas Clay Fowlkes said that the circumstances of the case could potentially carry the death penalty in federal court. The investigation is ongoing.
Waterman has a pretrial conference in Missouri federal court scheduled for December 14 and a trial date set for January 9, 2023.