A Colorado man who pleaded guilty to killing his pregnant wife and two young daughters was sentenced today. Christopher Watts confessed to the murders this month in a plea deal to avoid the death penalty.
Prosecutors and the family of Watts’ wife chose not to pursue the death penalty, offering instead another kind of “death sentence”: pleaded guilty for a life behind bars without the possibility of parole.
Mark Strassmann has more from Greeley, Colorado.
The Watts family seemed picture perfect, two adorable little girls, the pride of parents Christopher and Shanann Watts, 15 weeks pregnant and expecting their first boy.
On Facebook, Shanann Watts gushed about her husband. But investigators say Christopher Watts had a secret, an extramarital affair with a co-worker.
He now admits killing Shanann a month after it began, along with 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste.
“We believe that we have a partial motive. I’m not sure if it’s the entirety of the motive, but I’ll be happy to comment on that following the sentencing hearing,” said Michael Rourke, Weld County District Attorney.
Watts’ lover said last week he had misled her from day one, telling her his divorce was almost final.
“He’s a liar,” Nichol Kessinger told the Denver Post. “He lied about everything.”
When his family first went missing, watts claimed to have no idea where they were.
Three days later, he admitted to strangling Shanann, but only after he claimed he saw [her] in a baby monitor killing their daughters because she was distraught he was leaving her.
According to court documents, watts has now confessed to all three murders, after authorities searched an oil field where he worked and found the bodies of Shanann and their daughters.
Chris Watts’ in-laws and parents spoke at today’s sentencing hearing.