Dad pleads guilty in killing of pregnant wife, 2 daughters

08 November, 2018, 08:49 | Author: Donnie King
  • Chris Watts

A man accused of murdering his pregnant wife and two young daughters has pleaded guilty in court.

The district attorney agreed to drop the death penalty in exchange for Mr Watts accepting all nine charges against him as part of a plea bargain.

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

Shanann Watts was 15 weeks pregnant when she died, according to court records.

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

The plea deal was approved by Shanann's family who told the district attorney they did not want to end his life as he did their daughter's and grandchildren's.

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

The girls' bodies were found in oil barrels and Shanann's body was found in a shallow grave nearby. But he told police that he strangled her in "a rage" when he discovered she had strangled their two daughters after he sought a separation. Rourke told reporters that authorities have what he called a partial motive, and said he would offer more thoughts after Watts is sentenced.

Watts' family had previously said they were keeping an open mind about what had happened the night his family went missing in light of his initial version of events.

Colorado law requires that a first-degree murder conviction brings a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.




Taking a stab at Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, who had repeatedly opposed the execution of another death row inmate Nathan Dunlap, Rourke said: 'We explained to them the extraordinary delays that now exist in the state of Colorado as a result of in part the actions of our current governor.

'They were very strongly in favor of a resolution in this case short of the death penalty.

"I can only say that I hope there is a sense of closure", Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke said following the hearing.

"I know that that will never be fully realized because, obviously, the tragedy that sits before us today is the loss of four lovely lives".

When asked how he feels, Rourke said "sick" and "saddened".

'No one wins today.

Investigators never believed Watts' stories, Rourke said. I never wanted to have to stand up and have a press conference like this.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigations later said Shanann Watts and the girls were murdered inside their home.

According to People, the source said, Watts was furious at having to enter the guilty plea.

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