A 51-year-old Baton Rouge woman who told police she fatally shot her husband May 3 because he had beaten her, even though authorities found no evidence of abuse, was indicted Wednesday on a second-degree murder charge.

Euphoria Beauchamp faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison if convicted as charged in the death of Noel Beauchamp, 56.

Beauchamp told police her husband began violently striking her in the face while he drove her north on Airline Highway in his white flatbed Dodge truck, so she pulled a handgun from her purse and shot him several times in the neck and face, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Detectives saw no bruising or injuries she might have sustained in the type of beating she described, so they arrested Beauchamp, 2627 Cedar Ave., and booked her May 5 into Parish Prison on a count of second-degree murder, the affidavit states.

“Her statements to police appear inconsistent with the physical evidence,” East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said Wednesday. “There were other statements made by the defendant prior to the shooting that we believe show her true intent.”

Moore declined to elaborate on those alleged pre-shooting statements.

Before booking Beauchamp in May, detectives took her to a local hospital where she was examined for any trauma indicative of a beating that was not obvious to the detectives, the affidavit of probable cause notes.

Cpl. Don Coppola Jr., a police spokesman, has said that was a precautionary move to make sure there were no signs of trauma they might have overlooked.

Beauchamp, with lawyer Monique Fields sitting beside her May 5, told detectives her husband was upset with her when he picked her up two days earlier because she stayed overnight at someone else’s home, the affidavit states.

Attempts to reach Fields on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

During the ride home, Beauchamp told detectives, her husband began hitting her. That’s when she pulled out the gun and shot him, the affidavit says.

Beauchamp did not mention to detectives if she fought back or immediately went for the gun when her husband allegedly began hitting her, Coppola has said.

East Baton Rouge Emergency Medical Services personnel found Noel Beauchamp slouched, lifeless in the driver’s seat of his truck in the middle of one of the northbound lanes in the 5300 block of Airline.

Coppola has said police have no previous reports of domestic violence against Noel or Euphoria Beauchamp. In addition, online court records do not indicate any previous instances of domestic violence between the two.

Beauchamp has been in custody since May 5. Her case has been assigned to state District Judge Chip Moore.