Chris Watts was emotional in court as he pleaded guilty to the murders of his pregnant wife, Shanann Watts, and their two daughters, Bella and Celeste.
The Colorado local, 33, cried while pleading guilty to five counts of murder in the first degree, three counts of tampering with a deceased human body and one count of unlawful termination of pregnancy on Tuesday, November 6, according to Denver ABC News. According to the news site, Watts wore a bulletproof vest in court as the victims’ family sat in the front row.
Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke spoke out about the case afterward confirming that, with the agreement of Shanann’s family, Watts would only be facing life in prison without parole and not the death penalty.
“He deserves a life sentence for each and every act on top of each other,” Rourke said, noting that the autopsy reports for Shanann, 33, Bella, 4 and Celeste, 3, would be released after the sentencing. “It was important that each of those beautiful human beings was respected in that sentence.”
9 News reported that, prior to the press conference, Watts told the judge in a “shaky voice” that he had killed his 15-weeks-pregnant wife and their daughters. Rourke told reporters on Tuesday that he has a “partial motive” for the killings. “I’m not suer if it’s the entirety of the motive, but I will be happy to comment on that following sentencing,” he said.
Shanann’s brother, Frankie Rzucek, shared a message via Facebook after the press conference thanking his loved ones for their support. “I appreciate everything and everyone whose here for my family and I. The only thing I ask is to not share or tag me in a nothing that has that evil pos’s face. Thanks. I’ve seen enough,” he wrote. “Also to me friends and family. Trust me I wish I could have told everyone ahead of time, but when it comes to something as serious as this, I couldn’t tell anyone anything. I apologize. I love you all.”
Watts was arrested in August, days after Shanann, Bella and Celeste went missing in Frederick, Colorado. Their bodies were found on Watts’ former employer’s property.
In a statement to police in August, Watts claimed that he witnessed “Shanann actively strangled Celeste” via a baby monitor in their bedroom, as Bella lay “sprawled” on the bed. He then claimed to have gone “into a rage and ultimately strangled Shanann to death.”
Watts was also allegedly “involved in an affair with a coworker” at the time of Shanann, Bella and Celeste’s death, according to an affidavit obtained by Us Weekly, and had talked to Shanann about splitting.
Watts has been held in custody since his arrest and is due to be sentenced on November 19. Shanann’s family is expected to give statements at the hearing.
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