Colorado man pleads guilty to wife and daughter's murders
Colorado man pleads guilty to wife and daughter's murders
Chris Watts appearing in court this summer. Getty
07 November, 2018, 16:27
Colorado father Christopher Watts pleaded guilty to murdering his pregnant wife and their two children on Tuesday after striking a deal with prosecutors which means he will not face the death penalty. His plea includes the unlawful termination of pregnancy for the death of his unborn son, Nico.
The family agreed to the deal, prosecutors said.
Christopher Watts entered his plea Tuesday during a court hearing in Greeley, replying "guilty" nine times in response to Judge Marcelo Kopcow's reading of each charge against him in the deaths of Shanann Watts, 34, and their children, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3.
Chris Watts, 33, pleaded guilty to the nine charges, including first-degree murder.
"Sandra said it best when she said: 'He made that choice to take their lives".
He said he went off to work and only knew something was wrong when he was contacted later by her colleagues. Hickenlooper also expressed doubts at the time about the use of the death penalty generally. He said the family was strongly against pursuing the death penalty, especially after they discussed the extensive delays in the process in Colorado.
Shanann had returned home from a business trip when she was killed.
"That, to me, was the most important consideration in deciding how to proceed with this case", Rourke said.
"[Shan'ann's mother] said it very, very poignantly to me", Rourke recalled.
The Rzucek family watched from a row of chairs, holding hands, as Rourke spoke to reporters but did not speak. Watts faces up to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Watts is represented by the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender, which does not comment on pending cases.
Watts reported his wife and their girls, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste, missing August 13 from their home in Frederick, a town about 30 miles north of Denver.
His wife was buried there and the girls were submerged in crude oil, with their remains found by police who used a drone to search areas identified by Watts.
Watts initially told police he strangled his wife in a rage because, after the couple had argued, she killed their two girls.
However, in a second interview with police, Watts told police he looked at the baby monitor screen and saw Shanann strangling their daughter Celeste and that he saw their older daughter, Bella, blue and "sprawled" out on her bed, according to the affidavit.
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