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Beau Rothwell sentenced to life in prison for killing wife who had searched online "what to do if your husband is upset you are pregnant"

A Missouri man convicted in the death of his pregnant wife whose battered body was found about a week after she was reported missing was sentenced Friday to life in prison without parole.

A jury in April found Beau Rothwell, 31, of Creve Coeur, guilty of first-degree murder, tampering with evidence and abandoning the corpse of his 28-year-old wife, Jennifer Rothwell, who was six weeks pregnant at the time.

Jennifer Rothwell had looked up "what to do if your husband is upset you are pregnant" on her cellphone before she went missing, police said.

Beau Rothwell and Jennifer Rothwell  KMOV

Rothwell apologized to his wife's family during the sentencing hearing and said he thinks about Jennifer Rothwell "every single day." After the sentence was handed down, he told the judge he planned to appeal, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Rothwell admitted to killing his wife in November 2019 after a heated argument over his affair with another woman. But he denied that it was premeditated and sought conviction on a lesser manslaughter count.

He testified during trial that he hit his wife in the head from behind with a mallet, followed her as she stumbled toward the garage door and hit her again.

"In the heat of the moment, I hit her again. I think I cracked her skull and she fell down the stairs," he said, KMOV-TV reported. "She was unresponsive, I couldn't tell if she was deceased."

Authorities said Rothwell dumped her body about 45 miles (72 kilometers) northwest of her home. He reported her missing and also participated in search parties with her relatives and co-workers.

Police later found bottles of bleach in the home and a wet, blood-stained carpet. Investigators said the blood was his wife's.

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