Colorado Man Gets Life for Killing Pregnant Wife, 2 Girls

A Colorado man was sentenced Monday to life in prison for killing his pregnant wife and their two young daughters and dumping their bodies on an oil work site.

Posted: Nov 19, 2018 11:02 AM

By KATHLEEN FOODY , Associated Press

DENVER (AP) — A Colorado man was sentenced Monday to life in prison for killing his pregnant wife and their two young daughters and dumping their bodies on an oil work site.

Prosecutors have said they agreed not to seek the death penalty in exchange for Christopher Watts' guilty plea, after seeking approval from Shanann Watts' family.

Watts had pleaded guilty to three charges of murder in the deaths of his wife, Shanann Watts, and their young daughters. He also pleaded guilty on Nov. 6 to two counts of killing a child, one count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body.

The 33-year-old will not be eligible for parole.

A friend asked police to check on Shanann Watts on Aug. 13 after not being able to reach her and growing concerned that the 34-year-old expectant mother had missed a doctor's appointment. Officers initially handled the search and soon sought support from Colorado investigators and the FBI.

Meanwhile, Christopher Watts spoke to local television reporters from the front porch of the family's home in Frederick, a small town on the plains north of Denver where drilling rigs and oil wells surround booming subdivisions. Watts pleaded for his family safe return, telling reporters their house felt empty without 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste watching cartoons or running to greet him at the door.

Within days, he was arrested and charged with killing his family.

Court records revealed that Watts acknowledged to police that he killed his wife. Watts told investigators that he strangled her in "a rage" when he discovered she had killed their daughters after he sought a separation.

Prosecutors have since called his account "a flat-out lie."

Police learned that Christopher Watts was having an affair with a co-worker. He had denied that before being arrested.

Authorities have not released autopsy reports or any information about how the mother and daughters died. Prosecutors have said the reports would be released after Watts was sentenced.

The girls' bodies were found submerged in an oil tank, on property owned by the company Watts worked for until his arrest. Shanann Watts' body was found buried nearby in a shallow grave.

The killings captured the attention of media across the country and became the focus of true crime blogs and online video channels, aided by dozens of family photos and videos that Shanann Watts shared on social media showing the smiling couple spending time with their children.

But courts records showed the couple's lifestyle caused financial strain at times. They filed for bankruptcy in June 2015, six months after Christopher Watts was hired as an operator for the large oil and gas driller Anadarko Petroleum at an annual salary of about $61,500. At the time, Shanann Watts was working in a children's hospital call center for $18 per hour.

They reported total earnings of $90,000 in 2014 but $70,000 in unsecured claims along with a mortgage of nearly $3,000. The claims included thousands of dollars in credit card debt, some student loans and medical bills.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 133851

Reported Deaths: 1803
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah28467459
Washington18734171
Marion16247239
Clackamas11698138
Lane8353109
Jackson693085
Umatilla679368
Deschutes499936
Yamhill319045
Malheur313552
Linn311646
Polk245540
Klamath242838
Josephine174333
Benton170514
Jefferson170525
Douglas168743
Union111416
Wasco108123
Columbia104918
Lincoln99617
Hood River95421
Coos93815
Morrow93810
Clatsop6865
Crook62110
Baker5685
Tillamook3652
Curry3245
Lake2305
Grant2131
Harney1754
Wallowa963
Gilliam511
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3055568

Reported Deaths: 34441
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles103280614122
San Bernardino2561091560
Riverside2504362645
San Diego2168352109
Orange2148082477
Santa Clara943661109
Kern86718565
Fresno82485968
Sacramento806781111
Alameda67952765
Ventura62101436
San Joaquin58290786
Contra Costa52965450
Stanislaus42882758
Tulare41867506
Monterey36126255
San Mateo32596309
San Francisco29321262
Solano25806106
Imperial25317465
Santa Barbara25083236
Merced24452308
Sonoma24068240
Kings19435145
Placer17380180
San Luis Obispo15929136
Madera13443151
Santa Cruz12298113
Marin11693157
Yolo10620131
Shasta9776122
Butte9474123
El Dorado782644
Sutter775478
Napa760140
Lassen519516
San Benito496343
Yuba495127
Tehama397142
Tuolumne338240
Nevada320673
Mendocino311432
Amador301631
Lake261230
Humboldt239324
Glenn193519
Colusa17339
Calaveras161723
Siskiyou144613
Mono11214
Inyo97429
Del Norte8662
Plumas5895
Modoc3853
Mariposa3464
Trinity3024
Sierra820
Alpine730
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 36°
Brookings
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 44°
Medford
Partly Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 19°
Feels Like: 36°
Medford
Partly Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 36°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 30°
Dry and mild Wednesday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events