Colorado father pleads guilty to killing his pregnant wife and two children

Christopher Watts enters plea deal to avoid death penalty

Content Editor / November 07 2018

Christopher Watts, the Colorado man who killed his pregnant wife and two daughters, then hid their bodies in an oil field, has pleaded guilty to nine charges.

Watts reached a plea deal in exchange for avoiding the death penalty. He pleaded guilty to five counts of first-degree murder, one count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body.

Shanann Watts and her two daughters, Bella, four, and Celeste, three, were reported missing on August 13 by a family friend. Watts appeared on local television news pleading for his family’s safe return but was arrested the next day.

Watts told police he had asked his wife for a separation, then said he strangled her in a fit of rage after he witnessed her killing their two children on a baby monitor.

He then loaded their bodies onto a truck, buried Shanann in a shallow grave, and dumped his daughters bodies in an oil tank.

District attorney Michael Rourke said in a press conference that he had discussed the plea deal in depth with Shanann Watt’s parents and brother.

“There were a lot of emotions that went through their minds,” Rourke said, according to the Denver Post. “It was a combination of a relief, extreme sadness that we had to have that conversation in the first place.”

Watts now faces life in prison without parole, and he will be sentenced on November 19 in Weld County District Court.

Nicola Conville has worked as a journalist and editor for more than 20 years across a wide range of print and online publications. Her areas of expertise are parenting, health and travel. She has two children; Lucy, age eight, and Nathan, age five.