Beau Rothwell was found guilty of first-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence, and abandonment of a corpse.
Trigger Warning: This story contains details of domestic violence and murder that may be disturbing for readers
A Missouri man, who had been cheating on his pregnant wife of four years, has been convicted of murdering her. Last month, Beau Rothwell was found guilty of first-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence, and abandonment of a corpse. While the 31-year-old confessed to killing his 28-year-old partner, Jennifer, he denied that the murder was premeditated and even sought a conviction on a lesser manslaughter count.
During the trial, the Creve Coeur resident admitted to clubbing his wife to death with a mallet after the two got into an argument about his infidelity in November 2019. A week after being reported missing, the woman's badly beaten body was discovered. Rothwell later testified that he hit his wife, who was six weeks pregnant at the time, on the back of her head with a mallet on November 11 that year, according to the New York Post. He then heartlessly followed her as she stumbled towards the garage door before ruthlessly delivering the final blow.
In the hopes of covering his tracks, Rothwell also posted an emotional plea urging social media users to help him find his wife. "Some of you may have heard already, but last night my wife Jennifer went missing. I’ve filed a police report and the search is ongoing. Please, if you hear of anything or have any information it would be greatly appreciated," he wrote on Facebook. He was arrested hours after making this post.
Despite his claims that the murder was not pre-planned, prosecutors described Rothwell as a "careful planner." They showed the jury the text messages he sent a woman, with whom he had been having an affair. Among several red flags was a list of pros and cons that he had drafted for leaving his wife before ultimately killing her.
On November 12, 2019, he reported his wife missing, and a day before that he was caught on camera purchasing cleaning products including gloves and bleach. On searching his home, police found bottles of bleach and a wet, blood-stained carpet in his home. The blood was later determined to be his wife's thanks to the DNA samples provided by Jennifer’s parents.
It seems like Jennifer had sensed something wrong days before her death as she had searched "what to do if your husband is upset you are pregnant" on her phone according to police. Jennifer's body was ultimately found in an area situated 45 miles northwest of her home. As for Rothwell he awaits his sentencing on July 8 and faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Cover image source: YouTube Screenshot | Fox2 St. Louis