Plea deal struck in shocking family murder

Posted: Updated:
COLORADO -

The Colorado man who was accused of murdering his pregnant wife and their two young children has made a plea deal.

Chris Watts appeared in a Colorado court on Tuesday, and pleaded guilty to all nine counts he was originally charged with in August.

The plea deal is seen as an attempt to spare Watts from facing the death penalty. Watts will now face a judge in November for sentencing, but the plea agreement for each of his murder charges will put him behind bars for the rest of his life. "When something so horrible happens, it's really not possible to be particularly celebratory," says John Camper, director of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation

According to arrest papers, Watts was having an affair when he killed his family, dumping their bodies on a property belonging to an oil company. His 34-year old wife Shan’ann, who was 15 weeks pregnant at the time of the murder, was found buried in a shallow grave. His daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, were found stuffed into oil barrels.

The motive for the killings has yet to be fully explained. "We believe that we have a partial motive. I'm not sure if it's the entirety of the motive, but I'll be happy to comment on that following his sentence," says Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."