Beau Rothwell is convicted by Missouri jury of murdering his pregnant wife by hitting her in the head with a mallet during heated argument over his extra-marital affair
In addition to the murder count, Rothwell, 31, Creve Coeur, was found guilty of tampering with physical evidence and abandonment of a corpse
Rothwell admitted to killing his 28-year-old wife, Jennifer Rothwell, during his trial, but denied the killing was premeditated and sought conviction on a lesser charge of manslaughter
He testified at trial that he bludgeoned Jennifer to death with a mallet at their home on Nov. 11, 2019, during the heated argument
Jennifer Rothwell’s body was found about 45 miles northwest of her home, authorities said she was about six weeks pregnant when she died
Prosecutors painted the defendant as a meticulous planner, buttressed by his texts with the other woman, as well as a list of pros and cons he made for leaving his wife – before the brutal murder
He faces life in prison without the possibility of parole at sentencing scheduled for July 8
A case of suspected intimate partner violence and homicide in a Missouri household has been settled after tree years when a jury has convicted the widower of murder in the death of his pregnant wife whose battered body was found about a week after she was reported missing in 2019.
In addition to the murder count, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports, 31-year-old Beau Rothwell of Creve Coeur, was also found guilty on Thursday of tampering with physical evidence and abandonment of a corpse.
Rothwell admitted to killing his 28-year-old wife, Jennifer Rothwell, during his trial.
However, he denied the killing was premeditated while seeking the conviction be based on a lesser manslaughter count.
He testified during the trial that he bludgeoned Jennifer to death with a mallet at their home on November 11, 2019, during a heated argument over his affair with another woman.
Rothwell reported Jennifer missing on November 12, before police found her car abandoned on the side of a busy intersection. On November 19, 2019, Jennifer’s body was found in a wooded ravine off U.S Route 61 and Route KK in Lincoln County, about 45 miles northwest of her home in Creve Coeur.
Authorities said she was about six weeks pregnant when she died.
In the days prior to her tragic death, Jennifer, who was a chemical engineer, had looked up ‘what to do if your husband is upset you are pregnant’ on her cellphone, police said.
Rothwell is could be facing life imprisonment without the possibility of parole when he is sentenced on July 8.
Beau Rothwell reported his wife, Jennifer Rothwell, missing late Tuesday, November 12, 2019.
By noon on November 15, he was charged with second-degree murder. Police said they found wet carpet soaked with bleach and large areas of blood in carpet and carpet padding in the couple’s home north of Creve Coeur.
Police had found evidence that Rothwell bought cleaning supplies, including bleach and gloves on November 11, a day before he murdered his wife.
In addition to the murder count, Rothwell, 31, Creve Coeur, was found guilty Thursday on charges of tampering with physical evidence and abandonment of a corpse.
Prosecutors revealed at trial that Rothwell had made a pros and cons list about his affair before killing Jennifer.
The murder suspect noted in his laundry list, ‘better sex life,’ ‘more respect,’ and ‘fresh start’ as pros, and listed ‘half my assets/money,’ ‘trust is shaken/tainted,’ ‘my family disappointment,’ and ‘take on her kid with his probs,’ as cons in deciding the eventual fate of is wife, the St. Louis Dispatch reported.
At trial Rothwell’s attorney argued that the pregnancy had not been a surprise to him and he was happy about it but it was an argument about his extra-marital affair what ignited the violence that led to Jennifer’s murder.
But, prosecutors shared Facebook messages where Rothwell told his mistress that ‘part of him wanted Jennifer’s pregnancy not to work out.
‘If there is a miscarriage or something I’ll leave her after that and be with you,’ another message reads.
Investigators testified in court that the bereaved husband referred to his wife’s body as ‘it,’ when telling police where it was located.
In the days prior to her tragic death, Jennifer, a chemical engineer, had looked up ‘what to do if your husband is upset you are pregnant’ on her cellphone, police said.
Jennifer was found naked and in fetal position, with her head covered in a plastic bag on November 18. Rothwell testified that he hit his wife in the head from behind with a mallet, followed her as she stumbled toward the garage door and hit her again.
He faces life in prison without the possibility of parole when he’s sentenced July 8.
Prosecutors painted Beau Rothwell as a meticulous planner and showed the jury his texts with the other woman, as well as a list of pros and cons he made for leaving his wife.
He appeared to have sealed his fate when after he had reported his wife missing, when police later found bottles of bleach in the home and a wet, blood-stained carpet. Investigators said DNA from the blood evidence in their home matched his missing wife.