Missouri Man Killed Expectant Wife Who Googled 'What to Do if Your Husband Is Upset You Are Pregnant'

Beau Rothwell killed his wife Jennifer during an argument about his extramarital affair

Jennifer Rothwell
Photo: Facebook

A Missouri jury has found a St. Louis man guilty of first-degree murder after he admitted on the stand that he killed his pregnant wife in a rage.

Beau Rothwell, 31, has been found guilty of first-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence and abandonment of a corpse.

Rothwell testified on Thursday that he and his wife, Jennifer, argued at their home on Nov. 11, 2019, about an extramarital affair that he was having. The argument turned violent after he refused to reveal the identify of the woman with whom he was having the affair. He testified that his furious wife told him to keep his "mystery bitch" and then alleged that the baby was not his. (A paternity test later confirmed that Beau Rothwell was the baby's father.)

Rothwell said he went into a "red haze" and hit Jennifer in the head with a mallet. As she stumbled towards the garage door, he said he followed her and hit her again.

"I believe I cracked her skull," he testified, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "She fell unconscious and fell down the stairs." He said he did not plan to kill Jennifer, who was six weeks pregnant.

Beau Rothwell
Beau Rothwell. AP/Shutterstock/St. Louis County Police Department

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After the killing, Rothwell testified that he dumped her naked body in the woods about an hour away from his home. He cleaned the house with bleach and discarded evidence in a dumpster near the highway.

Rothwell then reported Jennifer missing. When police found blood- and bleach-soaked carpeting in the couple's suburban home, he was arrested. He then led police to her body.

Before her death, Jennifer Rothwell used her phone to search Google for "what to do if your husband is upset you are pregnant," search warrants obtained by PEOPLE confirmed.

During trial, prosecutors portrayed Beau Rothwell as a meticulous planner who plotted to kill his wife.

The defense said that the killing was unplanned, and asked jurors to acquit Rothwell of first-degree murder, but find him guilty of abandoning her corpse, evidence tampering and voluntary manslaughter.

Rothwell will be sentenced in July. He faces life in prison without the chance of parole.

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