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Chris Watts Reaches Plea Deal In Murder Case To Avoid Death Penalty
07 November 2018, 08:34 | Erica Roy
Colorado man pleads guilty to killing pregnant wife daughters as part of plea deal
A Colorado man arrested in the killing of his pregnant wife and two young daughters pleaded guilty Tuesday to all charges against him as his wife's family looked on, holding each other and sobbing.
In court Tuesday, Watts took responsibility for all three deaths, pleading guilty to nine charges, including first-degree murder and unlawful termination of a pregnancy.
Shanann Watts, Bella and Celeste were first reported missing on August 13 by one of Shanann Watts' friends.
Watts appeared on the "Today" show two days after his wife's disappearance to say he was living a "nightmare", CBS News reported at the time.
Watts' defense attorneys came to the prosecution weeks ago with proposals for plea deals, according to Rourke, though he doesn't know why they did.
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 know that that will never be fully realized because, obviously, the tragedy that sits before us today is the loss of four lovely lives (including Shanann's unborn baby)".
"I do not want to be in the position of making the choice to take his", Rourke said, quoting Sandra.
Chris' surprise plea this week - which will see him spend the rest of his life in prison in exchange for being spared a possible death penalty - put an end to his months of lies about what really happened to his family in mid-August.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigations later said Shanann Watts and the girls were murdered inside their home.
At the time of her disappearance in August, according to an arrest affidavit, Christopher Watts initially told police officers he had just informed his wife that he wanted a separation.
It's alleged he drove their bodies to an oil site, and police said the girls' bodies were found in an oil tank while his wife's body was found in a shallow grave.
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.
"The spotlight he tried to shine on Shanann, falsely, incorrectly.is now shined correctly on him", Rourke said.
Asked if a motive has been determined in the case, Rourke said that investigators believe they have a "partial motive" and Rourke said he would have more to say about that following the sentencing, which is scheduled for November 19.
Colorado law requires that a first-degree murder conviction brings a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.
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