Chris Watts sentenced to life for murders of pregnant wife, daughters

Clay Curtis
November 20, 2018

A Colorado man, Chris Watts, has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his pregnant wife and their two daughters.

Christopher Watts was sentenced Monday, almost two weeks after pleading guilty to avoid the death penalty.

His parents urged him not to take the plea deal and last week spoke out against Shanann, claiming the pair had an abusive marriage.

Chris Watts, 33, was condemned by Frank Rzucek as he was handed five life sentences with no possibility of parole at his sentencing Monday. Law enforcement also discovered the remains of the couple's daughters submerged in two nearby oil tanks.

Shanann Watts, 34, and her two daughters ages 3 and 4 were reported missing.

At first, Watts played the part of concerned husband and father, pleading on television for the safe return of his family.

Christopher Watts sits in court for his sentencing hearing at the Weld County Courthouse on Monday, Nov. 19, 2018, in Greeley, Colo. First-degree murder charges in Colorado require a minimum sentence of life without a chance at parole for adults.

He also pleaded guilty to unlawful termination of a pregnancy and tampering with a deceased human body.

Watts struck a plea-deal which saw him admit murdering his family to avoid the death penalty.

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Police say Watts killed his wife and their daughters, four-year-old Bella and three-year-old Celeste, inside their suburban Denver home.

Investigators found Shanann's body in a shallow grave on the property of an oil and gas company which Watts worked for before he was arrested.

"It got to a point that he was telling me so many lies that I eventually told him that I did not want to speak to him again until his family was found", she told the paper, explaining that she called police on August 15 to report Watts' lies.

Shanann returned home to Frederick, Colorado, from a business trip in the early hours of August 13.

"The man seated to my right smothered his daughters", he said, as Watts looked down at his handcuffs, one leg occasionally shaking beneath the table.

Watts said only two words at the hearing - "no sir", when Judge Marcelo Kopcow asked if he had anything to say.

It's not clear exactly why Watts killed his family. At the time, Shanann Watts was working in a children's hospital call center for $18 per hour.

Within days, the 33-year-old was arrested and charged with killing his family.

Prosecutors said the images belied a hidden truth, that Christopher Watts was having an affair and making plans for a new life. They filed for bankruptcy in June 2015, six months after Christopher Watts was hired as an operator for the large oil and gas driller Anadarko Petroleum at an annual salary of about $61,500.

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