Colorado man pleads guilty to killing pregnant wife, kids

Colorado man pleads guilty to killing pregnant wife, kids

A Colorado man pleaded guilty on Tuesday 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.

In the high-profile case, Christopher Watts entered the plea in Weld County District Court on Tuesday, his voice shaking as he spoke the words "guilty" nine times in response to the various counts.

Shanann Watts, 34, and their daughters, Bella and Celeste, were originally reported missing in August.

Shanann Watts, center, and her children are seen in this photo posted to Facebook.

Chris Watts and his attorneys have reached a plea deal in the highly-watched murder case out of Frederick.

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.

"I can only say that I hope there is a sense of closure (for family members of the deceased)", Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke said, according to CNN.

But, he said, "I think all of us who were involved never truly believed that he would give us an accurate statement".

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As part of the sentencing agreement, Watts will spend the rest of his life in prison for the first-degree murder charges. "And so that's about as firmly as she could have said it to me, and that was very compelling to all of us as we were talking about how to proceed on this case".

Family friend Ashley Bell said he did not understand why Watts killed his family, describing him as a loving father and his wife as "pretty happy" at the time of her death.

Christopher Watts, 33, married his late wife Shannan in Mecklenburg County in 2012, and her parents still live in North Carolina.

Watts, 33, had been charged with murdering his wife of almost six years, Shanann, 34, and their two girls. Later, according to his arrest affidavit, Chris claimed he killed Shan'ann in a "rage" at home after watching her strangle Celeste when he said he wanted to separate.

Image: Shanann and Christopher Watts. The three bodies were found on property near Roggen owned by Anadarko Petroleum Co., where Watts worked as an operator until August 15.

"The spotlight he tried to shine on Shanann, falsely, now shined correctly on him", Rourke said.

The judge set sentencing for November 19 at 10 a.m. Rourke said the plea deal asks the judge to make the first-degree murder sentences consecutive.

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