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‘Is The Cost Too High?’ Missouri Man Made Pros And Cons List About Leaving His Wife Before Killing Her

Among the “pros” of leaving his wife Jennifer for another woman, Beau Rothwell had written that he'd have a "better sex life" with "more appreciation" and would get a "fresh start." 

By Jill Sederstrom
Beau Jennifer Rothwell Pd

Before murdering his pregnant wife, Beau Rothwell contemplated the advantages of leaving her in a pros and cons list later discovered by his boss.

The list was used, in part, as evidence to convict Rothwell for the murder of his wife, Jennifer Rothwell, this week in a St. Louis County Circuit Court.

Beau admitted beating his 28-year-old pregnant wife with a mallet in their Missouri home in November of 2019, but had argued that he killed her in a haze during a heated argument, hoping that the jury would opt for the lesser charge of manslaughter, according to the Associated Press.

Prosecutors had argued, however, that the act had been premeditated and pointed to a pros and cons list Beau had written about leaving his wife for a woman he was having an affair with, dated July 31, 2019.

The list was discovered by his boss at Ambitech Engineering, where he had worked in Westport before his arrest. The boss was taking over the project Beau had been working on when he found the list written in a work notebook and handed it over to authorities, local station KTVI reports.

Among the “pros” of leaving his wife for another woman, Beau had written “better sex life,” “nicer,” “more respect,” “more appreciation,” “proven mother,” “potentially nice family” and “fresh start.”

His cons list included “Jennifer and her family,” “have to move,” “half my assets/money,” “possibly get another job,” “most of my friends,” “trust is shaken/tainted” and “my family disappointment.”

“Is the cost too high?” he scrawled on the list.

Prosecutors said the list served as “evidence of premeditation,” according to a statement released after his conviction.

They noted that Beau had also written a Facebook message to the other woman listing three options he felt he had in the marriage, including breaking it off with the other woman, divorcing his pregnant wife or waiting and hoping for “a miscarriage or something.”

“The state argued that Rothwell finally decided that ‘something’ would be to kill his pregnant wife and then stage it as a disappearance,” prosecutors said.

His defense attorneys had argued that the pros and cons list showed he was being “thoughtful” as part of an inner dialogue about what to do about his marriage and stressed that the note did not mention anything about killing his wife, KTVI reports.

Beau claimed he had killed his wife in a “red haze” of anger during a heated argument and had struck her in the right side of the head with a mallet, then struck her again when she was trying to flee, according to prosecutors. He claimed the fight had broken out upstairs near the dinner table and that his wife had fallen down the stairs into the basement after he struck her.

However, during the trial, the medical examiner testified that the fatal wound to her head had been delivered by a single blow with a much heavier object like a baseball bat. The medical examiner believed that Jennifer had actually been “ambushed” near the bottom of the stairs after noting that all of the blood was found on the basement carpet near the stairs, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Beau then drove his wife about 45 miles from their home, dumped the body and then reported her missing. He was arrested after law enforcement officers discovered bottles of bleach and wet, blood-stained carpet in the couple’s home.

Beau is expected to be sentenced July 8 and could be facing life in prison without the possibility of parole.