A Missouri man will spend the rest of his life behind bars after being charged with using a mallet to murder his pregnant wife in 2019.
In April, a jury found Beau Rothwell guilty of murder, tampering with evidence, and leaving a corpse unattended.
As a result of his wife’s murder, he was sentenced to life without parole on Friday.
Jennifer Rothwell was six weeks pregnant when she was killed.
During Rothwell’s trial, he admitted that Jennifer, 28, died after the couple argued over an affair that her husband was having.
According to Rothwell, the dispute escalated into violence when he refused to identify the other woman. He claimed that Jennifer told him to keep his “mystery b——,” she then said to him that the child she was carrying wasn’t his. (A paternity test confirmed Rothwell’s paternity.)
In a “red haze,” according to Rothwell, 31, he struck Jennifer in the head with a mallet. He claimed he followed her as she staggered toward the garage door.
“In the heat of everything, I hit her again,” Rothwell testified. “I believe I cracked her skull. She fell unconscious and fell down the stairs.”
After killing his wife, he dumped her naked body in the woods about an hour from their home, cleaned the house with bleach, and disposed of evidence in a dumpster.
Later, Rothwell filed a missing person report for his wife. Police uncovered blood and bleach wet carpeting while searching the home, and Rothwell led them to her body before he was taken into custody.
According to search warrants previously obtained by PEOPLE, Jennifer had used her phone to look up “what to do if your husband is upset you are pregnant” on Google.
Just a few months before killing Jennifer, Rothwell compiled a list of the apparent advantages and disadvantages of divorcing his wife.
The list was found in a notebook that Rothwell’s manager found at his place of work and was presented as evidence in court.
Rothwell listed the advantages of leaving his wife as: “nicer,” “proven mother,” “better sex life,” “more respect,” and a “fresh start.” He then listed the disadvantages as “Jennifer and her family,” “have to move,” “half my assets/money,” “possibly get another job,” and “my family disappointment,” among other items.
In court on Friday, Jennifer’s family spoke about their loss.
“Jennifer was a bright light in our lives,” her mother, Robin Von Hausen, said. “We thought we would have more than 28 years with her. Gone are the moments of joy with friends and relatives.”
Before receiving his sentencing, Rothwell addresses his wife’s family and says, “To Jennifer’s family, words cannot describe how sorry I am,” he said. “This should have never happened.”