Friday, April 29, 2022

The Murder of Jennifer Rothwell

Jennifer Rothwell (28) was reportedly murdered by her husband, Beau Rothwell during November 2019. The couple had been married since 2015 and they lived in St. Louis, Missouri. On the evening of November 12th, 2019, Beau reported his wife missing after he claimed that she never returned from work. He explained that he saw Jennifer for the final time shortly before 6:30 AM that morning before she left the house. Jennifer's car was later found abandoned, and her phone was found inside the vehicle. 

Police also noticed that Beau's vehicle smelled strongly of bleach, especially inside the bed of the truck. Authorities then searched the Rothwell's home and found traces of blood and hair inside the basement. The home also strongly smelled like bleach, indicating that there was an attempt to clean up a crime scene. After the blood was positively identified as Jennifer's, police arrested and charged Beau with her murder. A few days later, on November 18th, 2019, Beau led police to Jennifer's remains. 

News about the case remained quiet over the following weeks, until early December 2019, when the case's warrants were unsealed. The warrants revealed that Jennifer was approximately six weeks pregnant at the time of her murder. Her phone web searches indicated that Beau was not happy about the pregnancy. Shortly before her murder, Jennifer reportedly searched "what to do if your husband is upset you are pregnant." This reveals a possible motive in the case, as well.

Beau faced charges of first-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and went to trial in April of 2022. During his trial, Beau took the stand in his defense. While testifying, Beau admitted to killing Jennifer, but claimed it was an accident. 

Beau explained that on the evening of Jennifer's death, the two of them argued over Beau's extramarital affair. The argument escalated after Jennifer claimed that she, too, had cheated and that her unborn baby was not actually his. Beau said that this sent him into a "red haze", and he then hit Jennifer in the head with a mallet. As she stumbled away, he hit her once more, causing her to lose consciousness and fall down the stairs. Beau then put his wife's body in his truck and drove to a spot an hour away to dispose of her in the woods. 

A paternity test later confirmed that Beau was the father of Jennifer's unborn baby. The prosecution claimed that Beau knew all along that he was the father, and that he planned the murder of his wife. He sent texts to his girlfriend saying that if Jennifer miscarried, he would leave the marriage to be with her instead. 

The jury deliberated on April 28th, 2022, before ultimately finding Beau guilty of murder in the first degree. In July 2022, he was sentenced to life in prison. 

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