WELD COUNTY, Colo. – A Colorado man accused of murdering his pregnant wife and two daughters entered a guilty plea on Tuesday, reported Fox News. As a result, part of the deal will prevent him from facing the death penalty, prosecutors said.
Christopher Watts, 33, pleaded guilty to nine felony counts, including three first-degree murder charges, in the deaths of his wife, Shannan, 34, and two daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, Weld District Attorney Michael J. Rourke said.
Rourke went on to say that Watts will face three consecutive life sentences for the murder charges; the rest will be “left to the discretion of the court” when Watts is officially sentenced on Nov. 19.
Watts, a former oil and gas worker, was charged in August with killing his pregnant wife and their daughters at their home north of Denver.
Police have said Watts drove their bodies to an oil site owned by his former employer. The girls’ bodies were found submerged in an oil tank, and Shannan Watts’ body was found in a shallow grave.
Moreover, part of the police investigation determined that Watts “was actively involved in an affair with a co-worker,” according to court documents.
Investigators said in the documents that Watts admitted to police that he killed his wife. He said he strangled her in “a rage” when he allegedly discovered she had strangled their two daughters after he sought a separation.
In what now is known as a charade, Christopher Watts originally told reporters that he was traumatized by the disappearance his family in August. He claimed no knowledge of their mysterious absence.
“It’s not something I could ever, ever fathom would happen in my lifetime, and I have no inclination of where she is,” he said at the time. “She said she was going to a friend’s house with the kids and that’s the last thing I heard, and that was it. It was very vague.”
When the Denver Channel asked if he thought his wife just took off, Watts responded: “Right now I don’t want to just throw anything out there. I hope that she’s somewhere safe right now and with the kids.
“But could she have just taken off? I don’t know, but if somebody has her and they’re not safe, I want them back now.”
Watts told the station that he and his wife “had an emotional conversation” the night before her disappearance and said he’ll “leave it at that,” when asked if they had an argument.
Watts said he waited up the previous night “with every light in the house on,” unable to sleep from not knowing whether his family was safe.
“I was hoping I would just get run over by the kids running in the door, just barrel rushing me, but it didn’t happen,” he said. “It was just a traumatic night.”
When asked about his relationship with his children, Watts said they were “his life” and that their “smiles light up my life.”
He said he missed telling his kids at dinner that “you got to eat that or you’re not going to get your dessert.” He also said he missed cuddling with them on the couch. “It was tearing me apart last night,” he said.
“I just want everybody to come home. Wherever they’re at, come home. That’s what I want,” he told the station.
The station concluded the interview asking what would Watts tell his wife and kids if they could see the interview.
Watts, looking directly into the camera, said: “Shanann, Bella, Celeste, if you’re out there just come back. If somebody has her, just bring her back. I just need to see everybody. I need to see everybody again. This house is not complete without anybody here. Please bring her back.”
Breaking: Chris Watts has confessed to killing his pregnant wife Shannan and two kids, says Shennan Watts’ brother and a person familiar with the search. pic.twitter.com/I8N5JuAS5X
— Matt Mauro (@mattmauronews) August 16, 2018
Prosecutors said they couldn’t comment on the details of the investigation because the judge has yet to formally accept Watts’ guilty plea.