A man whom many have described as being very lucky, will avoid the death penalty after pleading guilty of killing his pregnant wife and two daughters.

The man Christopher Watts, 33, said he had killed Shannann Watts after seeing her strangling one of their children on a baby monitor.

CHRISTOPHER WATTS AND FAMILY

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 faced three first-degree murder charges, two counts of murdering a child under 12, one count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body.

Appearing in court in Greeley, Colorado, during the week, he pleaded guilty to all nine charges as the judge read them out.

Prosecutors said a possible death penalty was dropped with the agreement of victims’ family members.

Shannan Watts’s father was pictured looking overcome with emotion during the hearing. Her mother and brother were also there.

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.

His wife was buried there and the girls were submerged in crude oil, with their remains found by police who used a drone to search areas identified by Watts.

The couple had credit card debts running to tens of thousands of dollars, with some student loans and medical bills adding up to $70,000 (£54,876) in unsecured claims – on top of a sizeable mortgage.

Nevertheless, Mrs Watts had written upbeat social media posts about her daughters, pregnancy and love for her husband not long before she died.

Family friend Ashley Bell said he did not understand why Watts killed his family, describing him as a loving father and his wife as “pretty happy” at the time of her death.

 

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