BENTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Amber Waterman was charged with two counts of capital murder in Benton County following the October 31 kidnapping and death of Ashley Burch and her unborn child.
Waterman, 42, was previously charged in federal court in Missouri in the same case. Clay Fowlkes, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas federal court, noted that four jurisdictions—Arkansas and Missouri each at county and federal levels—have “very significant facts that would give them venue over this case.”
Benton County prosecuting attorney Joshua Robinson filed a criminal information form in Benton County Circuit Court on November 10. The filing charges Waterman with two counts of “the premeditated and deliberated purpose of causing the death of another person” as well as felony kidnapping.
The filing also stated that the prosecution intends to present evidence showing “aggravating circumstances” in both deaths. Waterman is set to appear in Benton County Circuit Court on November 21.
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.
The McDonald County Sheriff’s Office says that Bush’s unborn baby was found dead in a separate location on November 2. According to Benton County Prosecutor Nathan Smith, Bush died from an apparent gunshot wound.
A petition for writ of habeas corpus notes that the defendant will remain in the custody of the Warden or Sheriff of Greene County, MO until she is transported to Benton County for her court date. Judge Robin Green also filed an order to seal any unredacted search warrants, search warrant affidavits and arrest warrant affidavits in the case.