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Christopher Watts Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murdering His Family

Colorado man given three consecutive life sentences without parole as prosecutors reveal new details about murder of Watts family

Christopher Watts looks down during his bond hearing at the Weld County Courthouse Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in Greeley, Colo. Watts, of Colorado, whose wife and daughters disappeared this week was arrested on suspicion of killing them. (Joshua Polson/The Greeley Tribune via AP, Pool)

Christopher Watts, the Colorado man arrested and charged in the murders of his family, was handed three life sentences without parole.

Joshua Polson/The Greeley Tribune/AP

On Monday, Christopher Watts, the Colorado man arrested and charged in the murders of his pregnant wife and two daughters, received three consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Watts announced two weeks ago he would plead guilty in an effort to avoid the death penalty for the murder of Shanann, Bella and Celeste Watts in August. The family of Shanann Watts consented to the plea deal, the Associate Press reports.

Although Christopher Watts still wasn’t forthcoming about the details of the murders after agreeing to the plea deal, prosecutors revealed some of the evidence they had against the 33-year-old man; authorities previously withheld Shanann, Bella and Celeste Watts’ autopsies because they were critical to the prosecutors’ case.

According to Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke, Christopher Watts strangled his wife Shanann, as evidenced by marks on the right side of her neck, and smothered his two daughters aged four and three inside their Denver-area home; in a gruesome detail, Rourke said Bella bit her tongue as “she fought back for her life” while her father smothered her. He then hid his daughters’ body in an oil tank on a site owned by Anadarko Petroleum, where Watts was employed — and had an affair with a co-worker — and buried his wife nearby “to secrete away his family in a place he hoped they’d never be found,” Rourke added

“[Watts’] motive was simple, your honor: He had a desire for a fresh start” Rourke told the judge; Christopher Watts also bought jewelry and searched for vacation spots to bring his “new love,” the Washington Post reports, and soon after the murders, contacted a real estate agent about listing the family’s home.

Watts, who said only “No sir” at the sentencing when asked if he wanted to address the court, also pleaded guilty to unlawful termination of a pregnancy and tampering with a deceased human body as part of the plea deal.

In a post-sentencing statement in the courtroom, Shanann Watts’ father Frank Rzucek said, “I trusted you to take care of them, not kill them,” according to NBC News. “You thought you would get away with this. You carried them out like trash.”

Following the disappearance of his wife and daughters, Watts pleaded in the press for the safe return of his family. However, Watts’ story soon crumbled and he eventually admitted to killing his wife only after she murdered their daughters. However, prosecutors determined Christopher Watts’ version of the events were false and charged him with the murder of his family.

In This Article: Crime, Murder

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