Man gets life for killing wife who searched 'what to do if your husband is upset you are pregnant' before death
ST LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI: On Friday, Beau Rothwell, a Misssouri man, was sentenced to life imprisonment for killing his pregnant wife in November 2019. The 31-year-old man who worked at Zachry Engineering was found guilty of first-degree murder, tampering with evidence, and leaving the victim's naked body in the woods off Highway 61. The victim was no one other than Beau's 28-year-old wife, Jennifer Rothwell, who was an engineer at MECS Inc. in Chesterfield. This incident took place in 2019, followed by Beau's conviction in April 2022.
To conceal his crime, Beau Rothwell filed a missing person's report for his wife. He later organized a search party to look for her and took other measures to hide his traces. One of those included messaging her mobile phone after he had already killed her, just to pretend to be worried about her whereabouts.
The St Louis County Police discovered a carpet in Rothwell's home covered in blood and bleach, leading to his arrest. It appears that the carpet was still moist the day after the crime was committed. Two days after he filed the missing person report, Rothwell was legally charged with murder. The murdered woman's body was discovered enshrouded in a bush exactly one week later, on November 19, 2019. The body that was found just outside of Troy, Missouri, had its head duct-taped to a plastic bag. During this time, Beau Rothwell worked with the authorities and assisted them in finding Jennifer's body.
Beau Rothwell soon admitted to killing his wife to the police. When placed on trial, he did not contest his confession. The defendant, who was initially charged with murder in the second degree, later testified in his defense. He claimed that the killing was not premeditated but rather took place as a result of an altercation between him and his wife. The argument was related to Jennifer's recent pregnancy and an extramarital affair that she was allegedly participating in. Although the jury did not seem to be convinced by this defense.
Evidence indicated that Jennifer searched up "what to do if your husband is upset you are pregnant" on her mobile phone immediately before she was killed. The state contended that Beau had pondered the murder for months as a means of ending their failed marriage. According to Beau, the murder itself took a long time to carry out. He assaulted his wife first during the fight, hitting her in the head with a mallet. This sent her tripping in the direction of their garage. He then pursued her down and used the mallet to hit her once again, thereby killing her. Beau's testimony said, "In the heat of everything, I hit her again. I believe I cracked her skull. She fell unconscious and fell down the stairs. "
This murder was followed by an intensive effort to conceal the murder. Beau Rothwell not only made clumsy attempts to bleach the blood away from the carpet but also drove and left his wife's car at a junction in Creve Coeur, Missouri. A blood-spattered tarp and obvious cleaning items were thrown into a commercial trash can. The cleaning products were purchased a day before he reported his wife missing, according to the police. The murderer claimed in court that he was acting out of panic. To the jury, Beau said, "It was this feeling of needing to keep up the facade."
Circuit Judge Ellen "Nellie" Ribaudo gave the defendant a life sentence without the possibility of parole, along with an additional four years for the extra counts. According to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the sentences will be served consecutively. After the verdict, Wesley Bell, the prosecuting attorney for St. Louis County, spoke to the media outside the courthouse. "We are hoping that the family has some kind of relief," Bell said.
The victim's mother, Robin von Hausen, said in a video: "Jennifer will never know the joy of holding her child in her arms." Instead, she walked her through heaven’s gates. "