Man admits to killing his pregnant wife and two daughters

Colorado man pleads guilty to killing pregnant wife daughters as part of plea deal

A Colorado man has avoided the death penalty for killing his pregnant wife and two young daughters in a case with North Carolina connections.

However, in a second interview with police, Watts told police he looked at the baby monitor screen and saw Shanann strangling their daughter Celeste and that he saw their older daughter, Bella, blue and "sprawled" out on her bed, according to the affidavit.

"That about as firmly as she could have said it to me", Rourke said.

He initially told law enforcement that on the morning of August 13 he told his wife he wanted to separate and then left for work.

He also pleaded guilty to unlawful termination of a pregnancy, as Shanann Watts was 15 weeks pregnant with a son her family said would have been named Nico, and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body. Shanann Watts' body was later discovered on the property of an oil and natural gas company that Christopher Watts had worked for. Autopsy results have not been released.

Watts, 33, pleaded guilty to each of the nine counts he faces, including three counts of first-degree murder after deliberation and two counts of first-degree murder of a victim under the age of 12 in a position of trust for the August deaths of his wife, 34-year-old Shanann Watts, and two daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste, according to Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke.

Authorities aren't entirely sure why the husband and father killed his wife and their daughters.

The family agreed to the deal, prosecutors said.

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. She said, 'he made the choice to take those lives.

Watts is represented by the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender, which does not comment on pending cases. He said a judge has not formally accepted the guilty pleas or the sentence.

The request not to seek the death penalty came from Shannan's family, CBS Denver reports.

He said there were no winners in reaching a plea deal.

Rourke said he hoped the agreement would bring some measure of closure for the family, who were present during the court hearing and the press conference. "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 (including Shanann's unborn baby)".

Watts is due to be sentenced on November 19.

Investigators never believed Watts' stories, Rourke said.

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