Christopher Watts, 33, the father accused of killing his pregnant wife, Shanann (34), and two kids, Celeste (3) and Bella (4), has pled guilty to five counts of first-degree murder (two of which were for children younger than 12), unlawful termination of a pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body, according to the Coloradoan.
Shanann’s body was found in a shallow grave on property owned by Anadarko Petroleum, where Watts used to work. The bodies of his two daughters were discovered in nearby oil tanks.
Below, Watts is seen, dry-eyed and nonchalant, making a “desperate plea” for his wife and kids to return the day before his arrest for their murders back in August.
But that smug look on his face, the one that left viewers wondering what really happened to his family over the summer, was erased this week when Watts pled guilty to all nine counts presented in court by Judge Marcelo Kopcow.
Though actual footage of Watts was not found online, "Inside Edition" shared another video on YouTube, describing how it all went down.
Reporters said that prosecutors flew to Charlotte, N.C., for a “secret meeting” with Shanann’s family prior to the hearing to discuss a “plea deal” that would spare Watts from the death penalty.
Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke told reporters that Shanann Watts' mother, Sandy Rzucek, agreed to the deal, stating, "He made the choice to take those lives. I do not want to be in the position of making the choice to take his."
Watts, who admitted to telling his wife about an affair he was having with a co-worker right before the murders took place, claimed he killed his wife in a fit of rage after watching her strangle their two children over the baby monitor.
Prosecutors, and most everyone watching in horror as the story unfolded, believed otherwise.
"The plea of guilty to each of those counts, naming each of those victims—Shanann, Bella, Celeste and Nico—was an important consideration,” said Rourke, adding that the spotlight he tried to shine on Shanann “falsely, incorrectly and, frankly, a flat-out lie, has been corrected."
As part of the plea agreement, Watts agreed to serve consecutive life sentences for the deaths of Shanann, Bella and Celeste Watts, as well as for the unlawful termination of a pregnancy charge for his unborn son, Nico. Additionally, he must pay restitution to Shanann Watts' family, and cover funeral and burial costs for all three of the victims.
“He deserves a life sentence for each and every act on top of one another,” Rourke said. “It was important that each of those beautiful human beings be reflected in the ultimate sentence that will be imposed.”
A sentencing hearing for Christopher Watts, where he will face—at minimum—an automatic life sentence without the possibility of parole, is scheduled for November 19.