Colorado man pleads guilty to murdering pregnant wife and two daughters

Chris Watts

Chris Watts

The father accused of murdering his pregnant wife and two young daughters has pleaded guilty for the first time after reaching a plea deal to avoid the death penalty.

In exchange for Chris Watts' guilty plea, the death penalty will not be considered, the Weld County District Attorney's office said.

As the judge read each charge one by one, Watts pleaded "guilty", his voice sometimes cracking.

Shanann Watts' parents, Sandra and Frank Rzucek, as well as her brother, Frank Rzucek Jr., also attended the hearing and subsequent press conference.

The district attorney said lawyers for Chris Watts reached out several weeks ago about making a deal.

Shanann Watts, Bella and Celeste were first reported missing on August 13 by one of Shanann Watts' friends.

Within days, Watts was arrested and the bodies of his wife and children were recovered.




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. Investigators later learned Watts had been involved in an affair with a coworker, the affidavit states.

Watts killed wife Shanann, 34, along with their daughters Bella, four, and Celeste, three, on either August 12 or 13. He added that law enforcement never believed Watts' defense that Shanann Watts had strangled her daughters to death, sending him into a rage that led him to strangle his wife to death.

Rourke said at a press conference that the plea deal was made with the support of Shanann Watts' family, and after he explained what he called the "extraordinary delays that now exist" in Colorado in putting prisoners to death.

"That, to me, was the most important consideration in deciding how to proceed with this case", Mr Rourke said.

He said the family was strongly against pursuing the death penalty, especially after they discussed the extensive delays in the process in Colorado.

"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. But he said: "I know that will never be fully realized, because the tragedy that sits before us today is the loss of four attractive lives". If it goes as planned, Rourke said he will not fight the release of the autopsy reports for Shanann Watts and her daughters. "I never wanted to stand up and have a press conference like this". "The spotlight shines directly where it belongs - on him", Rourke said.

Recommended News

  • ATP Finals: Rafael Nadal tweets after ankle surgery

    ATP Finals: Rafael Nadal tweets after ankle surgery

    Because Nadal's season is over, Djokovic is assured of finishing the year atop the ATP rankings for the fifth time. He lost his No. 1 ranking to Novak Djokovic on Monday. "As such, I hope to be in good condition for next season".
    Minnesota election results: U.S. House 5th District

    Minnesota election results: U.S. House 5th District

    New Mexico's Deb Haaland and Kansas attorney Sharice Davids were elected the first two Native American women to serve in Congress. In an interview with CBS Wednesday, the newly elected congresswoman said she plans on embracing refugees .
    Sri Lanka rivals woo defectors in bid to end impasse

    Sri Lanka rivals woo defectors in bid to end impasse

    Sirisena had on Friday promised the parliamentary speaker that he would recall the assembly on Wednesday. He argues that he can not legally be removed until he loses the support of Parliament.
  • Dead brothel owner Dennis Hof wins Nevada election

    Dead brothel owner Dennis Hof wins Nevada election

    During the poll declaration, Hof had 68.3% of the vote to defeat his Democrat rival Lesia Romanov who polled 31.7%. With Hof dead, county officials plan to appoint a Republican to the seat.
    Ashleigh Barty secures dream end to year with Zhuhai success

    Ashleigh Barty secures dream end to year with Zhuhai success

    Sixth seed Madison Keys pulled out of the WTA Elite Trophy in China with a knee injury on Saturday. "I think I had to try an assert myself a little bit earlier in points", she said.
    Arsenal boss Unai Emery wants to change history against Liverpool

    Arsenal boss Unai Emery wants to change history against Liverpool

    Emery 's men have a chance to put down an early marker by taking out Jurgen Klopp's high-flying Liverpool on Saturday. For that reason, Klopp believes Liverpool must not have a singular focus on the reigning champions.
  • Idris Elba named sexiest man alive

    Idris Elba named sexiest man alive

    Idris was also a popular choice for the honor past year , but it was given to Blake Shelton . The honor came as a surprise for Elba, who called it an "ego boost".
    Free to grab: Destiny 2

    Free to grab: Destiny 2

    Recently, it has received new raid that can be enjoyed playing but never heard any instructions whether or not it will be free . During Blizzcon 2018 , Bungie announced it's giving away Destiny 2 for free on PC between now and November 18.
    Ariana Grande releases new song shortly before

    Ariana Grande releases new song shortly before "Saturday Night Live"

    On the track, the singer names each of her exes and explains that she's thankful for what their relationships taught her. He called her "a wonderful, strong person" and wished her the best. "Now, please go vote on Tuesday, all right?"
  • Kawhi Leonard misses another prime-time matchup

    Kawhi Leonard misses another prime-time matchup

    Though the final scoreline saw the Raptors win by just 14 points, the Lakers never really threatened to win the game. Leonard could decline his 2019-20 player option and become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019.
    Changes: Predicted Liverpool Lineup vs Red Star Belgrade

    Changes: Predicted Liverpool Lineup vs Red Star Belgrade

    But the introduction of Roberto Firmino and Joe Gomez did little to galvanise the Reds and Red Star held on to claim a famous victory.
    Vikings vs. Bears flexed to Sunday night in Week 11

    Vikings vs. Bears flexed to Sunday night in Week 11

    The NFL also made one other change to the Week 11 schedule: The game time for the Eagles-Saints game has been pushed back. Now, the lights will be on at Soldier Field as the Bears hit Sunday night Football for the first time since Week 1.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.