Man pleads guilty to killing pregnant wife and young daughters

Frederick Owens
November 7, 2018

With Colorado father Chris Watts' guilty plea on Tuesday, it's no longer legally in dispute who killed his wife of almost six years, Shan'ann Watts, and their young daughters, Bella and Celeste.

Christopher Watts, 33, pleaded guilty to all nine counts against him - including five counts of first-degree murder - in the deaths of his wife, Shanann Watts, and their daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, whose bodies were found on the property of an oil and gas company where Christopher Watts worked in August, according to a press release from Colorado's 19th Judicial District.

Watts claimed in an interview that his 34-year-old partner killed the girls, Celeste and Bella, after learning that he wanted a divorce.

Shanann Watts' parents and her brother were in the courtroom.

"I do not want to be in the position of making the choice to take his", Mr Rourke said.

The plea deal calls for Watts to be sentenced to three consecutive life sentences for the deaths of Shanann, Celeste and Bella, along with additional time for the unlawful termination of the couple's unborn child, Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke said at a press conference following the hearing.

"I can only say that I hope there is a sense of closure (for family members of the deceased)", Rourke told reporters.

"I know that that will never be fully realized because, obviously, the tragedy that sits before us today is the loss of four handsome lives".

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Watts is set to be sentenced November 19 and faces life in prison.

Chris' surprise plea this week - which will see him spend the rest of his life in prison in exchange for being spared a possible death penalty - put an end to his months of lies about what really happened to his family in mid-August.

In August, after Shanann and the two girls were reported missing, Watts appeared on local television pleading for their safe return. Watts has claimed Shanann had killed one daughter and was actively trying to kill the other when he attacked her in an act of passion, CBS Denver reported. Police have said Watts drove their bodies to an oil site owned by his former employer.

Shanann had returned home from a business trip when she was killed.

"They were very strongly in favor of a resolution in this case short of the death penalty", Rourke said.

Watts told detectives he was having an affair, according to an arrest warrant affidavit, and that he had loaded the bodies of his wife and daughters into his work truck and taken them to an oil field.

"The spotlight he tried to shine on Shanann, falsely, now shined correctly on him", Rourke said.

Colorado law requires that a first-degree murder conviction brings a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.

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