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Dad accused of killing wife, kids pleads guilty to gruesome murders

Dad accused of killing wife, kids pleads guilty to gruesome murders

As the judge read each charge one by one, Watts pleaded "guilty", his voice sometimes cracking.

While both Rourke and CBI Director John Camper said they hope this provides some closure and sense of justice, they also recognized that nothing that happens in the courtroom can fix what happened in the Watts' Frederick home in August.

Watts killed wife Shanann, 34, along with their daughters Bella, four, and Celeste, three, on either August 12 or 13.

The pleas were in exchange for prosecutors taking the death penalty off the table however the counts still carry a life sentence.

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. She was 15 weeks pregnant with a baby boy who she planned to name Nico.

Shanann Watts' family members "were very strongly in favor of a resolution in this case short of the death penalty", Rourke said.

"I don't want to be in the position to make that choice to take his, '" Rourke said.

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He said her mother Sandra Rzucek told him: 'He made the choice to take those lives. Police have said Watts then drove their bodies to an oil site owned by his former employer.

He had previously claimed that after telling his wife he was having an affair, she had killed one of their children and was trying to kill another when he attacked her. The bodies were found the week Watts was arrested. But he told police that he strangled her in "a rage" when he discovered she had strangled their two daughters after he sought a separation.

"We charged him with what we truly believed he had done", Rourke said.

'The spotlight that he tried to shine on Shanann, falsely and incorrectly - a flat out lie - has been corrected.

He arrived the court wearing a bullet proof vest and sobbed each time he pleaded guilty to each of the nine charges. "The spotlight shines directly where it belongs - on him", Rourke said.

Watts will receive his other sentencing terms on November 19, the date on which his status conference was previously scheduled.

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


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