Christopher Watts Set to Appear in Weld Court This Morning for Sentencing
Christopher Watts is scheduled to appear in Weld County District Court this morning to receive his sentence, marking the end of a whirlwind case that quickly gained international attention as media descended on the small Weld County town of Frederick.
On Nov. 6, 33-year-old Watts pleaded guilty in court to killing his pregnant wife and young children . He is charged with five counts of first-degree murder, three counts of tampering with a deceased human body and unlawful termination of a pregnancy.
Shanann Watts, Bella and Celeste were first reported missing on Aug. 13 by one of Shanann Watts’ friends. Watts was arrested shortly before midnight on Aug. 15. The three bodies were found on property near Roggen owned by Anadarko Petroleum Co., where Watts worked as an operator until Aug. 15. The two girls were submerged in oil tanks, and Shanann Watts was in a shallow grave nearby.
The cause of death for the victims has never been publicly confirmed, though court records have suggested they were strangled.
Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke agreed to take the death penalty off the table in exchange for Watts’ guilty pleas in all of the original nine charges.
As part of the plea agreement, Watts will spend the rest of his life in prison without parole.
The court has granted his parents, Cynthia and Ronnie Watts, his parents, permission to make statements today before Weld Judge Marcelo Kopcow imposes the sentence.
Cynthia Watts has said that Watts should retract his guilty pleas and claims that his public defenders are not looking out for Watts’ best interests.
Ahead of the sentencing, last week Watts’ girlfriend gave an exclusive interview to The Denver Post . Nichol Kessinger, 30, said Watts told her that he was separated from his wife and getting a divorce. When she saw that his wife and children were missing and couldn’t get any solid answers from him, she told The Post that she called the police and told them about their relationship.
Both the autopsy reports and a partial motive are expected to be released following the sentencing hearing.
Madeline St. Amour: 303-684-5212, firstname.lastname@example.org