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Man sentenced for killing wife who’d searched ‘what to do if your husband is upset you are pregnant’

Beau Rothwell was convicted of murder for killing Jennifer Rothwell at their Missouri home in 2019. He admitted to killing her but claimed it was not premeditated.

A Missouri man who killed his pregnant wife with a mallet in 2019 was sentenced to life in prison without parole Friday, the St. Louis County prosecutor's office said.

A jury convicted Beau Rothwell, 31, in April of first-degree murder in Jennifer Rothwell's slaying in Creve Coeur, west of St. Louis.

Before she was killed, Jennifer Rothwell had looked up “what to do if your husband is upset you are pregnant,” search warrants in the case showed, according to NBC affiliate KSDK of St. Louis.

Beau Rothwell testified at trial that he killed his wife during a heated argument over his affair with another woman, but the killing was not premeditated.

Jennifer Rothwell was reported missing on Nov. 12, 2019. But detectives who searched their home found blood in carpet, which had also been soaked in bleach, police have said. Beau Rothwell was charged with murder even before her body was found.

Image: Jennifer Rothwell.
Jennifer Rothwell.via KSDK

Beau Rothwell testified that he was in a "red haze" of anger when the killing occurred, and his attorneys sought conviction on voluntary manslaughter instead of murder, the St. Louis County prosecutor’s office has said. The jury convicted him of murder on April 28.

In court Friday, Rothwell apologized to his wife’s family and said, “words cannot describe how sorry I am,” KSDK reported.

Jennifer Rothwell’s mother, Robin Von Hausen, said that “Jennifer was a bright light in our lives,” and that, “We thought we would have more than 28 years with her,” according to the station.

Beau Rothwell was convicted of murder, tampering with evidence, and abandonment of a corpse, the prosecutor's office said.

"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," prosecuting attorney Wesley Bell said in a statement. "That is what we intended for him to do, and today confirms that is what he is going to do.”