SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KNWA/KFTA) — A hearing for Amber Waterman originally scheduled for Nov. 21 has been reset to Feb. 6, 2023. Waterman, 42, is accused of kidnapping Ashley Bush in order to claim her unborn child as her own, which resulted in her death.
Benton County prosecuting attorney Nathan Smith explains the postponing as because Bush is in federal custody in Missouri, the U.S. Attorney there has the ability to pursue charges first and control whether the defendant is allowed to appear in other courts.
“Although we sought to have the defendant appear so we could proceed with a concurrent state prosecution, federal authorities have chosen to proceed first and have decided against allowing Mrs. Waterman to appear in Benton County at this time,” Smith said.
Smith says he has spoken with the U.S. Attorney in Missouri to “express hope” that Attorney General Merrick Garland will allow her office to seek the death penalty and to assure her that the Benton County prosecuting office is prepared to do that if they cannot.
“In the meantime, we will keep the state case open and be as helpful to the federal prosecution as we can.”
Amber Waterman is charged with one count of kidnapping resulting in death. Her husband, Jamie Waterman, 42, is charged with one count of being an accessory after the fact to kidnapping resulting in death.