Man Sentenced to Life for Murdering Wife Who Searched 'What to Do if You're Husband Is Upset You're Pregnant'

A jury convicted Beau Rothwell of murder, tampering with evidence, and abandonment of a corpse in April

A Missouri man who killed his pregnant wife with a mallet in 2019 will spend the rest of his life in prison.

A jury convicted Beau Rothwell of murder, tampering with evidence and abandonment of a corpse in April. On Friday, he was sentenced to life without parole for the murder of his wife, Jennifer Rothwell. She was six weeks pregnant at the time of her death.

Jennifer, 28, died on Nov. 11, 2019, after the couple engaged in an argument over an affair that her husband was having, Rothwell admitted on the stand during his trial.

When he refused to reveal the identity of the other woman, Rothwell said the argument turned violent. He testified that his wife told him to keep his "mystery b----," and then alleged that the baby she was carrying was not his. (A paternity test later confirmed Rothwell as the father.)

Rothwell, 31, 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.

"In the heat of everything, I hit her again," Rothwell testified. "I believe I cracked her skull, she fell unconscious and fell down the stairs."

Jennifer Rothwell, Beau Rothwell
Jennifer Rothwell, at left, and Beau Rothwell. Facebook; St. Louis County Police Department/AP/Shutterstock

He said he did not plan to kill his wife, but afterward he dumped her naked body in the woods about an hour away from their home and then cleaned the house with bleach and discarded evidence in a dumpster near the highway.

Rothwell then reported his wife missing. He was arrested after police found blood- and bleach-soaked carpeting during a search of the home, and Rothwell led them to her body.

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

Just a few months before killing Jennifer, Rothwell compiled a list of the apparent pros and cons of ending the couple's marriage.

The list was discovered in a notebook found at Rothwell's workplace by his boss, which was introduced as evidence at the trial.

On the plus side of leaving the marriage, Rothwell wrote, "nicer," "proven mother," "better sex life," "more respect" and "fresh start," among other items.

On the negative side of leaving his wife, Rothwell wrote, "Jennifer and her family," "have to move," "half my assets/money," "possibly get another job" and "my family disappointment," among other items.

In court on Friday, Jennifer's family spoke about their loss.

"Jennifer was a bright light in our lives," her mother, Robin Von Hausen, said. "We thought we would have more than 28 years with her. Gone are the moments of joy with friends and relatives," KSDK-TV reports.

Rothwell also made a statement before receiving his sentence. "To Jennifer's family, words cannot describe how sorry I am," he said. "This should have never happened."

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