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07 November 2018, 08:35 | Darnell Patrick
Colorado man pleads guilty to killing pregnant wife daughters as part of plea deal
A Colorado man accused of killing his pregnant wife and their two daughters has reached a surprise plea agreement to avoid the death penalty, according to the Weld County District Attorney.
Watts' voice was shaking, and he could occasionally be heard sniffing after each time he said "guilty".
Later, as people searched for his missing family, Watts told CNN affiliate KMGH he had had an emotional conversation with his wife, Shanann, the last time he saw her. According to The Associated Press, Shanann Watts' parents and brother were present in the hearing.
The family agreed to the deal, prosecutors said.
Watts claimed in an interview that his 34-year-old partner killed the girls, Celeste and Bella, after learning that he wanted a divorce.
He told officers he loaded his wife and children's bodies into the back seat of his truck and drove them to an oil and natural gas company he worked for.
Investigators discovered Watts was "actively involved in an affair with a co-worker", which he had denied during an earlier interview.
Watts initially told police he strangled his wife in a rage because, after the couple had argued, she killed their two girls.
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Christopher Watts, 33, said he had killed Shannann Watts after seeing her strangling one of their children on a baby monitor.
Mr Rourke said he flew to North Carolina a few weeks ago to discuss the possible agreement with relatives of Shannan Watts and they signed off on removing the death penalty option. Rourke told reporters that authorities have what he called a partial motive, and said he would offer more thoughts after Watts is sentenced.
The family was supportive about not seeking the death penalty, he said. "I do not want to be in a position of making the choice to take his, '" Rourke said.
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.
"The spotlight he tried to shine on Shanann, falsely, incorrectly.is now shined correctly on him", Rourke said.
'I don't know how I could have sat in Sandy's kitchen and asked her to commit the next 25 years of her life to the criminal justice system without any assurance that the sentence would ever actually be imposed, ' he said.
"No one wins today", he said.
Watts is represented by the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender, which does not comment on pending cases.
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