BENTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — An arraignment has been scheduled for the suspect charged in a kidnapping that left an Arkansas woman and her unborn child dead last fall.
After multiple delays, the Benton County circuit court arraignment for Amber Waterman has been set for June 13 before Judge Robin Green.
Waterman, 42, has been charged with two counts of capital murder and one count of kidnapping in Benton County after she allegedly kidnapped Ashley Bush in an effort to claim her unborn child as her own, which ultimately resulted in the death of the mother and her baby. Waterman and her husband, Jamie Waterman, have also been charged in federal court in Missouri.
Bush was reported missing to the Benton County Sheriff’s office at approximately 6:30 p.m. on October 31, 2022 and her body was found near the Waterman residence in Missouri on November 3, 2022.
Benton County prosecutor Nathan Smith explained that Waterman’s previous hearings in Arkansas have been postponed because she remains in federal custody in Missouri, where the U.S. attorney has the ability to pursue charges first and decide whether the defendant may 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 last November.
In the Western District of Missouri federal court, Amber Waterman is charged with one count of kidnapping resulting in death and Jamie Waterman is charged with one count of being an accessory after the fact to kidnapping resulting in death.
She waived a formal reading of her indictment and entered a not guilty plea in Missouri on December 2, 2022.