Colorado man pleads guilty to murdering wife, children

Colorado man pleads guilty to murdering wife, children

Colorado man pleads guilty to murdering wife, children

Written by Reuters

07 Nov, 2018 | 3:02 pm

Reuters: A Colorado man pleaded guilty on Tuesday (November 6) to charges of murdering his pregnant wife and two small daughters and dumping their bodies in an oil field in an agreement that will spare him the death penalty.

Christopher Watts, 33, admitted in Weld County District Court to strangling his wife, Shanann, 34, and the couple’s two daughters, Celeste, 3, and Bella, 4, in August at the family’s home in Frederick, about 30 miles (48 km) north of Denver.

Watts’ voice quavered slightly as he entered the guilty pleas before Judge Marcelo Kopcow. He was handcuffed and dressed in an orange jail outfit and wore a bullet-proof vest. Watts was not shown in pool video transmitted by local stations.

Authorities declined to say why Watts was given the vest.

Watts pleaded guilty to charges of first-degree murder in the deaths of his wife and daughters and allegations that he killed the girls while in a position of trust. He also pleaded guilty to unlawfully terminating a pregnancy and tampering with the bodies of the three victims.

Under Colorado law, a first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.

“He deserves a life sentence for each and every act,” Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke said at a news conference on Tuesday.

Watts had faced the possibility of the death penalty if convicted, but under his plea agreement prosecutors pledged to not seek the death penalty, Steve Wrenn, chief deputy district attorney for Weld County, told the judge.

Rourke said he traveled to North Carolina, where Shanann Watts’ family lives, to consult with them before entering into the plea deal.

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