On Friday, a Missouri man was sentenced to life in prison for the killing of his pregnant wife in November 2019.
Beau Rothwell, 31, was guilty of first-degree murder, tampering with evidence, and abandoning a corpse in April of this year for severely beating 28-year-old Jennifer Rothwell to death and then leaving her nude body in the woods along U.S. Highway 61.
Beau Rothwell would then declare his wife missing, organise a search party to find her, and take additional steps to hide his aggression, such as messaging her mobile phone after she was already dead to pretend to be worried about her whereabouts. The next day, he was detained after cops discovered a carpet saturated in bleach and blood — still moist in the couple’s suburban St. Louis County home.
Two days after filing a missing persons report, Rothwell was legally accused of murder. One week later, on Nov. 19, 2019, the deceased woman’s corpse was discovered in a bush just outside of Troy, Missouri. Duct tape had been wrapped around her skull.
By that point, the killer had been working with authorities and had assisted them in finding Jennifer Rothwell’s corpse.
Beau Rothwell admitted to authorities that he had murdered his wife, and when he was tried, he did not contest his confession. Initially charged with second-degree murder, the defendant would subsequently testify in his own defence that the crime was performed in a “red haze” of rage following an altercation about his mistress, the victim’s recent pregnancy, and her own suspected extramarital affair.
The jury was not convinced.
The state contended the long-fuming spouse had considered the homicide to be a method for escaping their bombed marriage and thought about it for a really long time; proof indicated Jennifer Rothwell searched “what to do if your spouse is unhappy you are pregnant” on her cell phone just before she was murdered.
The course of the actual homicide was a long issue.
The murder itself took a long time to complete.
During the fight, the husband struck his wife from behind with a mallet, sending her scrambling and falling toward their garage. He then pursued her and assaulted her with the knife once more, eventually landing the deadly blow.
He testifies, he punched her again in the heat of the moment. He thinks he fractured her skull. She passed out and tumbled down the stairs.
Then there was the rigorous cleaning and hiding.
In addition to the clumsy attempts at blood removal, Beau Rothwell drove and dumped his wife’s automobile at a junction in Creve Coeur, Missouri. A blood-splattered tarp and suspicious cleaning items were thrown into a company trash.
The murderer admitted to being in “state of panic.” He purchased the cleaning products the day before he claimed his wife was missing, according to police.
It was this sense of trying to maintain the illusion, Beau Rothwell told the jury.
Circuit Judge Ellen “Nellie” Ribaudo convicted the defendant to life in prison without the possibility of release, plus an extra four years for the additional offences, on Thursday. According to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the sentences will run concurrently.
St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell told reporters outside the courthouse following the judgement that they are looking for some form of solace for the family.
However, there was no respite during a victim impact statement.
Jennifer Rothwell’s mother, Robin von Hausen, remarked over a video feed that Jennifer will never experience the joy of holding her baby in her arms. Rather, she led her through the gates of heaven.