Published: Wed, November 07, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Colorado man pleads guilty to murdering pregnant wife and two daughters

Colorado man pleads guilty to murdering pregnant wife and two daughters

A Colorado man charged with killing his pregnant wife and two daughters has pleaded guilty under a plea deal that will allow him to avoid the death penalty.

Christopher Watts, 33, was charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of his wife Shanann and two daughters Celeste and Bella in Colorado in August, according to a press release from the Weld County District Attorney's Office.

He arrived the court wearing a bullet proof vest and sobbed each time he pleaded guilty to each of the nine charges. She was 15 weeks pregnant with a baby boy who she planned to name Nico.

Shanann's parents Frank and Sandra Rzucek are pictured at the press conference after his hearing on Tuesday.

The family agreed to the deal, prosecutors said.

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.

Watts, 33, had been charged with murdering his wife of almost six years, Shanann, 34, and their two girls.

Rourke spoke at a news conference following the hearing in Weld County District Court, flanked by law enforcement from the agencies involved in the case, including the FBI, Colorado Bureau of Investigation and Frederick Police Department.

Watts killed wife Shanann, 34, along with their daughters Bella, four, and Celeste, three, on either August 12 or 13. He told police he had informed his wife he was leaving her. Investigators later discovered he had been having an affair with a coworker, authorities said.

Rourke said he flew to North Carolina to discuss the possible agreement with relatives of Shanann Watts and they signed off on removing the death penalty option. "And so that's about as firmly as she could have said it to me, and that was very compelling to all of us as we were talking about how to proceed on this case". But he said: "I know that will never be fully realized, because the tragedy that sits before us today is the loss of four lovely lives".

Watts is represented by the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender, which does not comment on pending cases. He gave no details about that talk, only saying, "I just want them back".

The request not to seek the death penalty came from Shannan's family, CBS Denver reports.

"What I can tell you most affirmatively today by what happened in the courtroom, is the spotlight that he tried to shine on Shanann, falsely, incorrectly and frankly a flat-out lie, has been corrected", said Weld County District Attorney Michael J. Rourke. The spotlight shines squarely on him, ' he said.

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