Colorado resident Christopher Watts was sentenced to life in prison Monday after accepting a guilty plea for murdering his pregnant wife and two children.
Watts, 33, pleaded guilty to the murders to avoid the death penalty, and his late wife’s family accepted the terms of the plea deal Monday, according to ABC13 Houston. Watts also pleaded guilty to tampering with a deceased cadaver and unlawfully ending a pregnancy.
Watts’ sentence comes after he was arrested in Frederick, Colorado, on Aug. 15. Authorities arrested Watts after they found the dead bodies of 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste Watts in large oil and gas tanks. Officials later determined that he’d stuffed the girls’ bodies into oil tanks to conceal the smell of the cadavers, according to ABC13.
Chris Watts’ wife and two daughters — Shanann, Bella and Celeste Watts — disappeared on Aug. 13 after he said they’d left for a friend’s house.
Authorities found Shanann Watts’ body on Anadarko Petroleum property. Bella and Celeste Watts’ bodies were found close by. Chris Watts worked at Anadarko Petroleum, one of Colorado‘s largest oil and gas drillers, in 2015. His 34-year-old wife was 15 weeks pregnant at the time of her death. (RELATED: 319 Murdered — Baltimore Sees Second Deadliest Year On Record)
“It’s a senseless murder, and [his wife] was looking forward to that third child. Because she was pregnant with a boy,” neighbor Joe Beach told ABC13 at the time of Chris Watts’ arrest.
Chris Watts admitted to all three murders shortly after he was apprehended, according to Fox News. The family had chosen to name the unborn child Nico.
Chris Watts’ parents think there’s more to the story than has been discovered. “I just want the truth of what really happened,” said his father Ronnie Watts, according to ABC11 Eyewitness News. “If he did it all, I can live with it. If he didn’t, I want him to fight for it.”
He will not be eligible for parole, as part of the conditions of the plea deal.
“Shanann was a wonderful soul. Everyone who knew Shanann knows this to be true. Even Chris Watts knows this to be true,” Shanann Watts’ parents, Frank and Sandra Rzucek, said in a statement. “Yet Chris Watts still chose to murder Shanann, Bella, Celeste, and Nico. Chris Watts still chose to dump the bodies of his own family in oil tanks.”
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