SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KNWA/KFTA) — The woman charged in the deadly kidnapping of a pregnant Arkansas woman appeared in federal court in Missouri and entered a plea of not guilty.
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 after the charred body of Ashley Bush, 33, was found near the Waterman residence in Missouri on November 3.
Amber Waterman appeared in the Western District of Missouri federal court on December 2 where she waived a formal reading of the indictment and entered a plea of not guilty. Her husband also entered a not guilty plea during a November 28 court appearance.
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.
Bush was 31 weeks pregnant and her unborn child was found dead at a different location on November 2. According to Benton County Prosecutor Nathan Smith, Bush died from an apparent gunshot wound.
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.
Amber Waterman’s federal trial is set to begin on January 9. There will be a pretrial hearing on December 14.