JENNINGS - A 43-year-old Jennings man is accused of fatally beating his pregnant girlfriend with a metal pipe during an early Tuesday morning argument, an official said.

Officers, responding to an aggravated battery call, found an unresponsive Shawntell George, 31, lying in the 200 block of South Main Street about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, Police Chief Todd A. D’Albor said.

George was rushed to Jennings American Legion Hospital, then transferred to Lafayette General Medical Center where she was pronounced dead about 7 a.m., D’Albor said.

A preliminary investigation found Villnon Botley Jr., George’s live-in boyfriend, struck her several times with a metal pipe, D’Albor said.

It was not a light strike, it was a major blow, D’Albor said, adding the blow caused severe enough brain damage that George was later diagnosed as brain dead.

Police arrested Botley a few blocks away from the scene after detectives found him hiding in a vehicle at Andrew and Baker streets, police said in a news release.

Police booked Botley into the Jennings City Jail on second-degree murder and second-degree feticide, D’Albor said.

The killing is the city’s first since D’Albor took over the department in August.

It’s a sad situation, a sad day, D’Albor said.

George’s Facebook page lists her as being a mother of three.

D’Albor said George was at least a month pregnant.

Our understanding was that (Botley) knew that she had become pregnant, D’Albor said, adding the child is believed to be Botley’s.

The cause of the argument has not been determined.

Whatever it is that they had a disagreement about was something that was ongoing throughout the day and it led to this happening in the early morning hours, D’Albor said.

Botley and George lived together at the home of George’s mother on Hobart Street, D’Albor said. No other domestic incidents involving the couple had been reported to the department, the police chief said.