A man was found guilty of the brutal murder of his pregnant wife and given a life sentence without the possibility of parole. The crime took place in their St. Louis County home.
In April, a jury found Beau Rothwell guilty. In 2019, he confessed to hitting his pregnant wife Jennifer in the head with a mallet. He claimed he let her know about his extramarital activity. After her death, police say he hit her during an argument.
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St. Louis County Man Gets Life Sentence
Although Rothwell insisted the killing was not premeditated, a jury ultimately found him guilty of first-degree murder, evidence tampering, and leaving a body.
Rothwell was given a life sentence for first-degree murder, four years for tampering with physical evidence, and another four years for abandoning a corpse. The sentence for the third count follows the same pattern as the first two. On Thursday, April 28, a jury found Rothwell guilty on all three counts.
Rothwell addressed Jennifer’s loved ones in court before he was sentenced, saying: Rothwell expressed his deepest condolences, saying, “Words can’t begin to describe how horrible this was.”
Jennifer’s mom was able to join virtually and she gave a powerful speech about the impact they’ve made:-
“They thought he was a great guy, but in the end, he lied to the family. Jennifer will never have a chance to hold her child in her arms. Jennifer will never know the joy of taking her daughter to trick-or-treating in matching costumes. Our entire family attended the murder trial. Our family would like to thank police and prosecutors for investigating her senseless death.”
Rothwell testified that in his “red haze” of anger he struck Jennifer in the right side of the head with a mallet once, and then again when she tried to flee from him. That fact alone proved the second blow was intended.
However, the findings of the medical examiner and other pieces of physical evidence contradicted Rothwell’s account. The medical examiner testified that the fatal wound on the victim’s right side of the head was caused by a single blow from an object much more substantial than a mallet, like a baseball bat.
“We rejected all offers for plea negotiation in this case,” said St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell. “We knew with a conviction on Murder 1st Degree that this man who killed his pregnant wife would spend the rest of his life in prison without eligibility for parole. That is what we intended for him to do, and today confirms that is what he is going to do.”
Furthermore, Rothwell testified that he first struck her at the dinner table before finishing her off with a second fatal blow, which is when she rolled down the basement steps and her blood finally congealed. The physical evidence suggests that Rothwell ambushed the victim at the base of the basement stairs, lending credence to the state’s case.
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