A man sent horrifying messages to his apparent lover days before allegedly killing his pregnant wife in the basement of their home in Missouri.
So went the argument in court this week, at least, in the days leading up to Beau Rothwell‘s Thursday conviction for killing his pregnant wife, Jennifer Rothwell, in November of 2019. The case first drew national attention after Beau reported Jennifer missing on November 11 of that year — but investigators believed they found evidence of what really happened. They think the husband smashed her skull in the basement of their home after learning she was pregnant, then dumped her body in a rural area around 45 miles northwest of their home in the city of Creve Coeur.
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On Thursday, the 31-year-old man was officially convicted of his wife’s 2019 murder. According to The Independent, Rothwell was convicted of first-degree murder by a jury in Missouri. He was also found guilty of tampering with physical evidence and abandonment of a corpse.
To make the guilty case, prosecutors revealed in court this week that cops discovered phone records between Beau and an unknown number — which they later determined to belong to a woman with whom he was having an affair. After seeing news reports that Jennifer had gone missing, the woman came forward and showed police text messages between herself and the accused murderer, according to KMOV. During the trial, prosecutors entered some of the messages into evidence, including one sent less than two weeks before his wife first went missing.
In the message, Rothwell reveals that Jennifer was pregnant, reportedly writing:
“I can’t focus or do anything productive. I’m in panic mode Lol. Jennifer took a pregnancy test and it came back positive.”
From there, Beau and his apparent mistress discussed the future of their relationship in light of his wife carrying a child.
In a follow-up text, the husband chillingly wrote:
“Part of me wants this pregnancy to not work out.”
And in another, he cryptically added:
“If there is a miscarriage or something I’ll leave her after that and be with you.”
Prosecutors focused on that “or something,” alleging it helps prove Rothwell was planning to kill Jennifer and rid himself of his commitment to her and the unborn child.
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Previously in the trial, forensic pathologist Gershom Norfleet testified to the medical examiner’s investigation into Jennifer’s death. Her body had been found in a remote area near the city of Troy, Missouri days after she was first reported missing. According to Fox 2 News, Norfleet explained that the injuries Jennifer sustained were “blunt cranial cerebral trauma” leading to hear death.
The forensic expert further revealed that she was struck at least three times in the head, and there was “no way her skull was fractured as a result of fists or a fall or an animal,” according to the outlet’s coverage of the trial. Cops have since uncovered both blood and hair evidence from the basement of the couple’s home, according to People, proving that’s where she was killed. The initial search down there reportedly also led police to bloodstained carpets that were “soaked in bleach,” as well — meaning he cleaned up.
The jury clearly bought the prosecution’s version of events — heck, even his mistress seemingly did.
Rothwell will be sentenced at a later date. What do YOU think about this horrifying case?
[Image via St. Louis County Police Department]