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CrimeBehind the Scenes of Family Murderer Chris Watts' Surprising Guilty Plea: 'He Made the Right Choice'

19:27  19 november  2018
19:27  19 november  2018 Source:   people.com

Chris Watts pleaded guilty to murdering his wife and daughters — but his parents say he's 'not a monster'

Chris Watts pleaded guilty to murdering his wife and daughters — but his parents say he's 'not a monster' The parents of a 33-year-old Colorado man who pleaded guilty to murdering his family insist he’s ‘not a monster.” Chris Watts admitted in court last week to killing his 34-year-old pregnant wife Shanann and two daughters, 3-year-old Celeste and 4-year-old Bella, so he could avoid the death penalty — but his parents seem unswayed by their son’s evil acts. “There's not one person you can talk to that will say anything about this kid. He was normal, he didn't have a temper, he was just easy-going like his Dad. He's not a monster,” Chris' mother Cindy Watts told WTVD. Cindy and Ronnie Watts, Chris’ dad, believe their son changed once Shanann entered his life.

Christopher Watts pleads guilty in deaths of wife, young daughters - Продолжительность: 1:48 FOX31 Denver 3 758 просмотров. 'I don't see why he 's pleading guilty ': Mom of Chris Watts questions son's plea deal - Продолжительность: 2:19 WCNC 2 227 просмотров.

For the first time, the parents of Chris Watts are speaking out about their son’s case. Ronnie and Cindy Watts spoke from their home in Spring Lake, North

When Chris Watts first appeared on TV, standing outside his suburban Colorado home on Aug. 14, talking to a local news reporter, the only strange thing about him seemed to be the story he was telling.

His pregnant wife, Shan’ann Watts, and daughters Bella and Celeste were missing, he said.

He was unnaturally calm, even awkward — as though he had never expected to find himself in this position, talking about his family on the news, or like he had something to hide.

Despite Confession, Chris Watts' Mom Doesn't Believe He Killed His Kids: 'He Couldn't Have Done That'

Despite Confession, Chris Watts' Mom Doesn't Believe He Killed His Kids: 'He Couldn't Have Done That' Chris Watts' Mom Doesn't Believe He Killed Daughters

The mother of the man accused in the Colorado murders that shocked the nation is questioning the plea deal he took, saying he was forced to admit guilt in the deaths of his family .

RELATED: Behind Chris Watts ’ Decision to Plead Guilty — ‘Eventually He Acknowledged His Life Was Over’. Kessinger noted that Watts seemed unperturbed That night, Watts was arrested for the murders . RELATED: Why Family Murderer Chris Watts Decided to Plead Guilty : ‘Eventually He

Chris said he and Shan’ann had had an “emotional conversation” before she vanished, but he declined to elaborate. He said he wanted her and their kids home safe. He pleaded: “This has got to stop, someone has got to come forward.”

Two days later, the first piece of the truth emerged: Authorities arrested Chris, 33, after confronting him about an affair he was carrying on with a co-worker. They charged him with first-degree murder in the deaths of his wife and daughters — even as he claimed in a police interview that Shan’ann, 34, was to blame, that he’d witnessed her strangling Celeste in apparent revenge when he announced he wanted a separation.

In the hours after Chris’ arrest, authorities found Shan’ann’s body buried at an oil site owned by his then-employer. Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, were submerged in oil tanks nearby.

Colorado dad scheduled to be sentenced for the murder of Shanann Watts, 2 children

Colorado dad scheduled to be sentenced for the murder of Shanann Watts, 2 children Christopher Watts accepted a plea agreement Nov. 6 stipulating that he could not be sentenced to death for killing Shanann, Bella and Celeste.

“ He made me believe that he was doing all of the things that a rational man and good father would do,” she said. But Watts ’ nice-guy facade crumbled after Shan’ann and the girls RELATED: Why Family Murderer Chris Watts Decided to Plead Guilty : ‘Eventually He Acknowledged His Life Was Over’.

The co-worker with whom Colorado murder suspect Chris Watts was allegedly "actively involved in an affair" He has not yet entered a plea . His lawyer did not respond to PEOPLE’s requests for comment but, according to a Why Family Murderer Chris Watts Decided to Plead Guilty : 'Eventually He

Behind the Scenes of Family Murderer Chris Watts' Surprising Guilty Plea: 'He Made the Right Choice'© Provided by TIME Inc. Behind the Scenes of Family Murderer Chris Watts' Surprising Guilty Plea: 'He Made the Right Choice' When Chris next appeared on TV — on Aug. 16, this time in chains — the nation was watching.

Privately, Chris was sticking to his story and preparing a defense that laid all blame with his wife of nearly six years, who was 15 weeks pregnant with a son at the time of her death.

A source who was in contact with him behind bars told PEOPLE Chris was “ready to fight,” and any battle was likely to be a long one.

Observers drew parallels between the Watts family murders and the case of Scott Peterson, a California man whose pregnant wife, Laci Peterson, vanished before the world learned that he, too, was having an affair and had also been caught up in a own web of lies. Like Chris, Scott had given media interviews and publicly assisted in the search for Laci before her body was found.

Chris Watts to be sentenced in killing of two daughters and pregnant wife

Chris Watts to be sentenced in killing of two daughters and pregnant wife A Colorado man who pleaded for his family's return before being charged with killing his daughters and pregnant wife will not face the death penalty. He could, however, spend the rest of his life behind bars after he is sentenced Monday. Chris Watts, 33, pleaded guilty this month to first-degree murder and other charges in the deaths of 34-year-old Shanann Watts and their daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3. His sentencing comes days after a woman he had been dating told The Denver Post that he lied to her about being near the end of divorce proceedings. She cooperated with police before his arrest, she told the newspaper.

RELATED: Behind Chris Watts ’ Decision to Plead Guilty — ‘Eventually He Acknowledged His Life Was Over’. Kessinger noted that Watts seemed unperturbed That night, Watts was arrested for the murders . RELATED: Why Family Murderer Chris Watts Decided to Plead Guilty : ‘Eventually He

“ He made me believe that he was doing all of the things that a rational man and good father would do,” she said. That night, Watts was arrested for the murders . RELATED: Why Family Murderer Chris Watts Decided to Plead Guilty : ‘Eventually He Acknowledged His Life Was Over’.

Scott maintained his innocence until the end, when he was sentenced in 2004 to death after being convicted of murdering Laci and their unborn son, Conner, around Christmas Eve two years earlier.

Ambrosio Rodriguez, a Los Angeles prosecutor turned defense attorney who is unconnected to the case, told PEOPLE that Chris’ case could take years to prosecute given its high profile and because he could be sentenced to die if convicted.

And then, on Nov. 6, a sudden reversal that had secretly been weeks in the making: In a deal with prosecutors, Chris pleaded guilty to everything, avoiding the death penalty but acknowledging reluctantly that he would spend the rest of his life in prison when he was sentenced on Monday.

Shan’ann’s parents and brother huddled together in court, crying as Chris admitted guilt.

Stoic himself, Chris fell apart afterward, the source close to him tells PEOPLE: “He lost everything, and he knows it.”

With his plea, a case that could have carried on without answers for years is all but resolved. Prosecutors have said several key questions will be answered once Chris is sentenced, including his motive and how his family was killed.

Colorado man Christopher Watts gets three consecutive life sentences for killing pregnant wife, two young daughters

Colorado man Christopher Watts gets three consecutive life sentences for killing pregnant wife, two young daughters A Colorado man who pleaded guilty to killing his pregnant wife and their two young daughters was hit with three consecutive life sentences on Monday. 

Murder Suspect Chris Watts Made His Startling Confession 'After Speaking with His Dad': Police. Before he at last decided to tell police “the truth,” authorities say Colorado dad Chris Watts told them a shifting story about He has not yet entered a plea and remains behind bars, where he has grown

Christopher Watts , 33, is expected to plead guilty to murdering his wife and two young children. He insisted he would never hurt his family , but she no longer had any reason to trust him . In accepting a plea agreement from prosecutors that holds him solely responsible for the murder of

The source close to him says Chris had to be persuaded to plead but realized he had no other option, given the damning evidence against him. Even so, the decision was his alone.

“Even up until this week, it wasn’t clear if he would change his mind,” the source says. “He certainly could have. But he made the right choice for himself and probably the right choice for his family.”

Why did Chris change his mind? And how was a plea worked out?

Here is a timeline of events between his arrest and his surprising admission this month. (The timeline is based on court filings reviewed by PEOPLE, statements by prosecutors and interviews with sources connected to Chris and law enforcement.)

Aug. 15: After being questioned by police, Chris is arrested and held on suspicion of first-degree murder and tampering with dead bodies. He confesses to killing Shan’ann but blames her for the death of their daughters. The oil and gas company where he had worked — and on whose remote property he stashed all three bodies — fires him.

Aug. 16: Chris makes his first appearance in Weld County Court, shackled and in an orange jumpsuit. No formal charges have yet been filed but the court finds probable cause for his arrest after reviewing prosecutor filings. The judge orders him held without bond in the Weld County Jail. That day, the bodies of Shan’ann, Bella and Celeste are found.

Chris Watts Still Hasn't Come Clean About Murdering His Entire Family — and He Might Never

Chris Watts Still Hasn't Come Clean About Murdering His Entire Family — and He Might Never Chris Watts Still Hasn't Detailed His Murders

But he made the right choice for himself, and probably the right choice for his family .” RELATED: Why Did Chris Watts Murder His Wife & Kids? D.A. Has ‘Partial Motive’ — but Can’t Release It Yet. Chris will be sentenced on Nov. 19 and faces life in prison without the possibility of parole

RELATED: Behind Chris Watts ’ Decision to Plead Guilty — ‘Eventually He Acknowledged His Life Was Over’. RELATED: Why Family Murderer Chris Watts Decided to Plead Guilty : ‘Eventually He But in court earlier this month, Watts pleaded guilty to nine charges, according to prosecutors

Aug. 17: Chris’ attorneys file a motion seeking to collect DNA from the recovered bodies, possibly to implicate Shan’ann by suggesting she strangled the girls. In an unusual move, the defense team almost immediately begins filing a flurry of motions related to DNA testing.

University of Colorado law professor Aya Gruber, who is unconnected to the case, tells PEOPLE this was “absolutely the right thing to do on the side of the defense.”

Chris’ public defenders “had an idea that these bodies, their condition and the story that they told about what happened would be a critical issue in the case,” she says.

Still, the judge is largely unconvinced by the defense’s arguments about how the DNA should be collected. (The autopsies for Shan’ann, Bella and Celeste have yet to be made public, though their release is expected once Chris is sentenced.)

Aug. 20: Chris is formally charged with three counts of first-degree murder, two additional first-degree murder charges causing the death of a child under age 12, three counts of tampering with a body and one count of first-degree unlawful termination of a pregnancy.

Aug. 21: Chris appears in court, where he hears the charges filed against him. The judge denies bail. He waives his right to a preliminary hearing.

Shan’ann’s father, Frank Rzucek, and brother, Frankie Rzucek, sit in the first row, just feet away from Chris, with Frankie consoling his dad as they listen to the proceedings.

Sept. 13: Prosecutors file a motion demanding that Chris turn over DNA samples, fingerprints, palm prints and photographs of his hands to aid in the testing of various pieces of evidence — which are undisclosed except for the revelation that a bag with a possible footprint was found near the bodies.

Shannan Watts' Parents File Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Murderous Husband Chris

Shannan Watts' Parents File Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Murderous Husband Chris Shannan Watts' Parents File Wrongful Death Suit

Chris Watts is behind bars after being accused of murdering his pregnant wife, Shanann Watts , and their young daughters, Bella and Celeste. Chris told police that his wife’s purse, keys and cellphone were all left at home. He pleaded for the safe return of his family during multiple TV interviews.

Christopher Watts is accused of killing Shanann Watts , and their two children Celeste and Bella, aged three The day before his arrest, Watts had pleaded for his family 's safe return saying in an He has not entered a plea to murder and other felony charges and faces the death penalty if found guilty .

Chris’ attorneys file a motion to deny this request, which former L.A. defense attorney Ambrosio Rodriguez says is “standard in death penalty cases. They’re going to get his DNA and his fingerprints. It’s fighting for the sake of fighting.”

The defense, Rodriguez says, faces “an extremely difficult case because it’s hard to believe [Chris’] story.”

Before the end of the month, the judge grants the prosecution’s request for Chris’ DNA.

September-October: The source who is in contact with Chris says he has grown depressed behind bars, where he is placed on suicide watch and confined to his cell for 23 hours a day. “He’s not doing well at all,” this source says. “The gravity of the situation has hit him like a ton of bricks. Depression is setting in, and he’s despondent.”

The source says Chris has two personal effects with him: a Bible and a photo of his family.

Early October: Chris’ attorneys approach the prosecution about a possible plea deal.

“I can’t tell you the exact date but it’s been several weeks in the making,” Michael Rourke, the Weld County district attorney, tells reporters after Chris’ guilty plea. Prosecutors travel to North Carolina to meet with Shan’ann’s family to discuss the case and the ramifications of seeking the death penalty. Rourke says her relatives have been firmly against a possible execution for Chris.

Rourke tells reporters that he doesn’t know what prompted the defense team to approach him but that he made it clear that he wouldn’t dismiss any charges. “I was not willing to entertain any further concessions above and beyond removing the death penalty,” he says.

That alone was always likely to be enough motivation, according to law professor Gruber.

More than a month before Chris’ plea, she tells PEOPLE: “The most likely scenario I would see with a plea would be if they said, ‘We’re considering the death penalty given those children and we’ll drop it out if you plead guilty to first-degree murder without the death penalty being on the table.’ That would be huge incentive to plead guilty.”

After Killing His Pregnant Wife, Chris Watts Claimed Baby She Was Carrying Wasn't His

After Killing His Pregnant Wife, Chris Watts Claimed Baby She Was Carrying Wasn't His Chris Watts had rejoiced with his wife, Shanann, when she surprised him last May with the news that they were expecting a third child, a reaction that she lovingly recorded in a video Shanann posted to her Facebook page. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); But the triple-murderer kept that fact from another woman he began seeing soon thereafter — and when he did acknowledge to his mistress in August that his then-missing wife was pregnant, Watts claimed that Shanann told him the baby wasn’t his.

RELATED: Behind Chris Watts ’ Decision to Plead Guilty — ‘Eventually He RELATED: Why Family Murderer Chris Watts Decided to Plead Guilty : ‘Eventually He But in court earlier this month, Watts pleaded guilty to nine charges, according to prosecutors: five counts of first-degree murder , one

Days before Chris’ plea: Shan’ann’s family, led by her mother, Sandra Rzucek, asks the district attorney not to pursue the death penalty, Rourke later reveals.

“Sandi said it very, very poignantly to me,” he says. “She said, ‘[Chris] made the choice to take those lives. I do not want to be in the position to take his.’ ”

Throughout October and leading up to Chris’ plea: His attorneys discuss the idea of him admitting guilt, which he resists, according to the source close to him. The source says, in contrast to his earlier despondency, Chris is more engaged with his legal team.

“Chris had to come to terms with reality,” the source says. “He didn’t like it at all, but he’s smart enough to know that his back was against the wall, and the best thing for him to do was to plead guilty.”

When Chris finally decides to announce his guilt in court, “There was some yelling, and some crying,” the source says. “But eventually, he acknowledged that his life was over after he killed Shan’ann. He would have been facing years of legal challenges and, best-case scenario, he would have been acquitted. Worst-case scenario, he gets put to death.

“This was actually a winnable defense case, but he didn’t have the resources to fight it, and in the end I don’t think he had the energy or the inclination to do it,” the source explains. “He will spend the rest of his life in jail, and he’s resigned to that fact now.”

Tuesday: After Chris pleads guilty to all charges, the D.A. holds a news conference, saying he felt “sick” and “saddened” at the violence that befell Shan’ann, Bella Celeste and her unborn son, Nico, and the Rzucek family.

He says, quoting another investigator: “No one wins today.”

• With reporting by ADAM CARLSON

After Killing His Pregnant Wife, Chris Watts Claimed Baby She Was Carrying Wasn't His.
Chris Watts had rejoiced with his wife, Shanann, when she surprised him last May with the news that they were expecting a third child, a reaction that she lovingly recorded in a video Shanann posted to her Facebook page. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); But the triple-murderer kept that fact from another woman he began seeing soon thereafter — and when he did acknowledge to his mistress in August that his then-missing wife was pregnant, Watts claimed that Shanann told him the baby wasn’t his.

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