A jury has convicted a Missouri man of murdering his pregnant wife after cheating on her and writing a list of reasons to leave her.
Along with a first-degree murder charge, Beau Rothwell was found guilty on Thursday of tampering with physical evidence and abandonment of a corpse, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
During his trial, Rothwell, 31, confessed to killing his wife, Jennifer Rothwell, while denying the killing was premeditated and seeking a conviction on a lesser manslaughter count. The Creve Coeur resident testified that he clubbed his 28-year-old wife of four years to death with a mallet at their home in November, 2019, during a heated argument over his affair with another woman.
Her badly beaten body was found about a week after she was reported missing.
Beau Rothwell testified that on Nov. 11, 2019, he whacked his wife, who was six weeks pregnant, in the head from behind with a mallet, followed her as she stumbled toward the garage door and hit her again.
Beau Rothwell is set to be sentenced July 8, when he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Prosecutors portrayed Beau Rothwell as a careful planner, showing the jury his texts with the other woman, as well as a list of pros and cons he drafted for leaving his wife. He had reported his wife missing on Nov. 12, 2019.
Police previously said Rothwell was caught on video buying cleaning products — including bleach and gloves — one day before she vanished.
Police later found bottles of bleach in the home and a wet, blood-stained carpet.
Investigators determined the blood was his wife’s.
Jennifer Rothwell searched “what to do if your husband is upset you are pregnant” on her phone before she went missing, police said.
Her body was found about 45 miles northwest of her home.
Rothwell was arrested just hours after posting a plea for help on social media.
“Some of you may have heard already, but last night my wife Jennifer went missing,” he wrote on Facebook. “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 was initially arrested in 2019 on evidence tampering charges, but charges were upgraded to murder after investigators used DNA samples from Jennifer’s parents to confirm blood found inside the home was hers.