Chris Watts sentenced to life for murders of pregnant wife, daughters

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"What must Bella and Celeste have experienced or thought as their father, the one man on this planet, who was supposed to nurture and protect them, was snuffing out their lives?" asked Weld County District Attorney Michael J. Rourke.

On Monday, the judge sentenced him to three consecutive life sentences, along with two other life sentences to be carried out concurrently, in addition to 48 years for unlawful termination of pregnancy for the death of the unborn child, and 12 years each for three counts of tampering with a deceased body.

Watts received life in prison without the possibility of parole in three counts of first-degree murder in connection with the murders of his wife, Shannan, and his two daughters, Celeste and Bella.

The girls' bodies were found submerged in an oil tank on property owned by the company Watts worked for.

In August, right after the killings, Chris Watts spoke out to reporters, saying his wife and daughters disappeared without a trace, leaving her purse and keys at home. Watts pleaded for his family safe return, telling reporters their house felt empty without 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste watching cartoons or running to greet him at the door. "We love you and we forgive you, son".

She says the pair only started dating in July, and that Watts told her that he was in the final stages of a divorce.

Sandra Rzucek, Shanann's mother, said they loved Chris Watts "like a son".

It's not clear exactly why Watts killed his family.

A memorial outside the home of Shanann Watts in Colorado.

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"This is a heartless monster", said Frank Rzucek, Shanann's father, sobbing as he stood at a podium just feet away from a seated Watts, who wore an orange prison uniform, his hands cuffed in front of him.

The 33-year-old is not eligible for parole.

The prosecutor in the case says authorities have a partial motive and will offer more details after sentencing.

Watts told detectives that he was having an affair.

"He lied about everything", Kessinger later told the Denver Post. I don't know how, the cameras don't lie. They filed for bankruptcy in June 2015, six months after Christopher Watts was hired as an operator for the large oil and gas driller Anadarko Petroleum at an annual salary of about $61,500. She never met any of his relatives or friends, Kessinger told The Post.

Ms Kissinger said she only learned of the truth when news of the disappearances and his arrest emerged.

He said he killed his wife, who was 15 weeks pregnant with a baby boy, in a vengeful rage.

A friend asked police to check on Shanann Watts on August 13 when she could not reach her and grew concerned that the 34-year-old who was pregnant with a third child missed a doctor's appointment.

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