Man admits to killing his pregnant wife and two daughters

Man admits to killing his pregnant wife and two daughters

A man charged with killing his pregnant wife and two daughters will avoid the death penalty after pleading guilty.

Christopher Watts, 33, admitted in Weld County District Court to strangling his wife, Shanann, 34, and the couple's two daughters, Celeste, 3, and Bella, 4, in August at the family's home in Frederick, about 30 miles (48 km) north of Denver.

The agreement also required Watts to plead guilty to unlawful termination of Shanann Watts' pregnancy, a felony in Colorado.

Breaking - Chris Watts to take a plea deal to killing his pregnant wife and two daughters.

Rourke said at a press conference that the plea deal was made with the support of Shanann Watts' family, and after he explained what he called the "extraordinary delays that now exist" in Colorado in putting prisoners to death.

"I know that that will never be fully realized because, obviously, the tragedy that sits before us today is the loss of four attractive lives".

Watts could face three consecutive life sentences. "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".

In his initial interview with police months ago, Watts said that on the morning of August 13 he had told his wife he wanted to separate and then left for work.

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The pleas were in exchange for prosecutors taking the death penalty off the table however the counts still carry a life sentence. Watts has claimed Shanann had killed one daughter and was actively trying to kill the other when he attacked her in an act of passion, CBS Denver reported.

In a later interview, the arrest affidavit says, Watts claimed that he had seen on a baby monitor that his younger daughter appeared dead and his wife was strangling his older daughter. The bodies of Bella and Celeste were later found nearby in an oil tank.

Shanann had returned home from a business trip when she was killed.

"We talked a lot about whether we would require him to come forward and give us what we believe to be a complete, accurate and truthful statement".

Rourke said he described "extraordinary delays" in carrying out the death penalty in Colorado since Gov. John Hickenlooper's 2013 decision to block the execution of Nathan Dunlap.

"What I can tell you most affirmatively today, by what happened in the courtroom, is the spotlight that he tried to shine on Shanann falsely, incorrectly and frankly a flat out lie has been corrected", Rourke said.

The judge set sentencing for November 19 at 10 a.m. "The spotlight shines directly where it belongs: On him".

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