Attorneys for Christopher Watts Accuse DA of Withholding Evidence
The defense attorneys for Christopher Watts are accusing the Weld County District Attorney’s Office of violating due process because it has not provided them with evidence.
In a motion filed Friday in Weld County District Court, the public defenders for Watts say they cannot take a position on the prosecution’s recently filed motion to keep the autopsies for Shanann, Bella and Celeste Watts from the public because they do not yet have the reports.
“The government has not met its statutory and constitutional obligations to turn over evidence to the defense,” the motion states.
Christopher Watts, 33, is accused of killing his wife, 34-year-old Shanann Watts, and two daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste. Shanann Watts also was 15 weeks pregnant with a boy, who Shanann Watts’ family said would be named Nico.
Watts is charged with three counts of first-degree murder after deliberation, two counts of first-degree murder — victim under 12 /position of trust, one count of first-degree unlawful termination of pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body.
District Attorney Michael Rourke on Sept. 17 filed a motion requesting the court allow the coroner to deny public records requests for the three autopsies, on the grounds that those reports will be critical pieces of evidence at trial and could taint witnesses or future jurors.
In its motion, the defense further states the failure to turn over the autopsy reports and other evidence is violating due process of law and undermining the fairness of the proceedings.
″(It) continues to put Mr. Watts on unequal footing with the government,” they stated .
Also on Friday, Judge Marcelo Kopcow denied the defense’s motion asking the court to reconsider investigating possible media leaks about the investigation.
Madeline St. Amour: 303-684-5212, firstname.lastname@example.org