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Benton County prosecutor seeking death penalty against Amber Waterman

Benton County Prosecutor Nathan Smith announced he is charging Amber Waterman with two counts of capital murder and will be seeking the death penalty.

BENTON COUNTY, ARKANSAS, Ark — Benton County Prosecutor Nathan Smith announced he is charging Amber Waterman with two counts of capital murder and one count of kidnapping in the abduction and murder of Ashley Bush and her baby, who Amber had planned to claim as her own.

The announcement was made on Thursday after Amber Waterman had made appearances in federal court in Missouri, where she and her husband Jamie Waterman lived at the time of Bush's kidnapping and alleged murder.

“I also have alleged aggravating circumstances and declared my intention to seek the death penalty," Smith said. After the prosecutor spoke with Bush's family, he said they "supported the decision to seek the death penalty, which is currently easier to do at the state level."

Smith also said Bush's family preferred the case be tried in Benton County so they wouldn't have to travel out of state.

Jamie Waterman has been accused of helping Amber dispose of Bush's body, and hasn't been charged in Benton County due to there not being "clear evidence" that he participated in a crime in Arkansas. 

Jamie was charged with one count of being an accessory after the fact to kidnapping resulting in death. The federal criminal complaint alleges that he helped Amber Waterman after the abduction and murder.

Amber is accused of creating a fake Facebook account under "Lucy Barrows" on Oct. 25, 2022, to lure Bush into meeting her so she could steal her unborn child. Bush was allegedly kidnapped in the Maysville area of Benton County where she was under the impression "Lucy" was giving her a ride to a job interview.

5NEWS will update this article with more information as it becomes available.

RELATED: Timeline | The kidnapping and murder of pregnant Arkansas woman Ashley Bush

RELATED: Missing Arkansas woman, baby found dead in Missouri

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