Colorado man pleads guilty to killing pregnant wife, kids

Colorado man pleads guilty to wife and daughter's murders

Watts pleaded guilty to charges of first-degree murder in the deaths of his wife and daughters and allegations that he killed the girls while in a position of trust.

In exchange for a guilty plea, Watts will now avoid the death penalty. He said the family was strongly against pursuing the death penalty, especially after they discussed the extensive delays in the process in Colorado.

Rourke said investigators believe they have a partial motive for the slayings, but said he wouldn't give details until after Watts is sentenced. Watts is scheduled to be sentenced November 19.

The victims' family agreed to those terms, the district attorney's office added.

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

On Tuesday, the accused pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree murder of a victim under the age of 12.

"I don't know how I could have sat in Sandy (Rzucek)'s kitchen and asked her to commit the next 25 years of her life of the criminal justice system", Rourke said.

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Because the case is not finished until Watts is sentenced and a judge accepts his guilty plea, Rourke is still not answering questions about the investigation.

When the bodies were found, Watts changed his story to say his wife killed the girls after he told her he was leaving her.

Autopsy results have not been released.

Watts' wife Shanann, 34, and their two daughters Celeste, three, and Bella, four, were found dead in August in oil tanks days after he reported them missing and made shifty television appearances pleading for them to come home. The three bodies were found on property near Roggen owned by Anadarko Petroleum Co., where Watts worked as an operator until August 15.

Under Colorado law, a first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Watts, 33, had been charged with murdering his wife of almost six years, Shanann, 34, and their two girls. "The spotlight shines directly where it belongs, on him".

The plea deal calls for Watts to be sentenced to three consecutive life sentences for the deaths of Shanann, Celeste and Bella, along with additional time for the unlawful termination of the couple's unborn child, Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke said at a press conference following the hearing.

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