Chris Watts Pleads Guilty to Murdering Pregnant Wife Shanann and Two Daughters, Won’t Face Death Penalty

Chris Watts has pleaded guilty to killing his pregnant wife, Shanann Watts, and their two daughters.

The Colorado local, 33, pleaded guilty to all nine charges in the deaths of Shannan, 34, and daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, on Tuesday, November 6, the Weld County District Attorney’s Office confirms to Us.

Christopher Watts
Christopher Watts RJ Sangosti - Pool/Getty Images

Watts initially faced the possibility of the death penalty or life in prison without parole, but the victims’ family agreed to have DA Michael Rourke eliminate the death penalty option if Watts pleaded guilty to all nine counts.

Thus, Watts pleaded guilty to five counts of murder in the first degree, one count of unlawful termination of pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body. He is set to appear in court on Monday, November 19, for sentencing.

Shanann, Bella and Celeste went missing in August after the 15-weeks-pregnant mother returned home to Frederick, Colorado, from a business trip. Three days later, she along with Bella and Celeste were found dead. Chris was arrested soon after, although he claimed to police that he witnessed “Shanann actively strangling Celeste” via a baby monitor in their bedroom, while Bella lay “sprawled” on the bed. Chris then alleged that he “went into a rage and ultimately strangled Shanann to death.”

In an arrest affidavit obtained by Us in late August, authorities noted, “Chris said he loaded all three bodies on the back seat of his work truck … Chris said he buried Shanann near two oil tanks and dumped the girls inside the oil tanks.” The affidavit also indicated that Chris was allegedly “involved in an affair with a coworker” and had spoken to Shanann about separating.

Prosecutors obtained inked footprints from Watts in September after discovering “possible bare foot impressions” along with “items of evidence,” according to The Denver Post. The pieces of evidence were not identified, although why were found at the site where Shanann, Bella and Celeste’s bodies were found.

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