Man gets life for killing pregnant wife, 2 kids

Chris Watts to be sentenced for killing pregnant wife, young daughters

A man who strangled his pregnant wife and suffocated their two young daughters wanted to escape his marriage and growing family, prosecutors said Monday as a judge imposed a sentence of life without parole as part of a plea deal that kept the killer from facing the death penalty. Prosecutors have said the reports would be released after Watts was sentenced.

"I trusted you to take care of them, not kill them". "We appreciate they begged for Chris' life". "Life will never be the same". They had not argued, but they were both upset and crying, he told police, according to an affidavit.

Shanann Watts and her two daughters, Bella and Celeste.

His wife Shanann grew up in Southern Pines.

The girls' maternal grandparents, who had urged the prosecution not to seek the death penalty in a deal in which Watts pleaded guilty in November to the murders, spoke in court before the sentence was handed down. The victims' family agreed to those terms, the district attorney's office added.

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

'You carried them out of the house like trash.

"There isn't a day that goes by that I don't cry for my family". "Why would you do this?"

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

"I didn't want death for you because that's not my right", she said, her voice choking with tears. This is hard to say but may God have mercy on your soul.

It's not clear exactly why Watts killed his family. "I am still struggling to understand how and why this tragedy occurred".

'You monster. You thought you would get away with this.

You can watch his reaction to the sentencing here.

'As your mother, Chris, I have always loved you.

"This should never have happened", said the spokesperson.

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. "I mean, those smiles light up my life".

Watts told the station his wife came home from the airport about 2 a.m., and he left for work about 5:15 a.m. "Vanished. Nothing was here", he said.

"You buried my daughter Shanann in a shallow grave and then you put Bella and Celeste in huge containers with crude oil, you heartless monster", Frank Rzucek told the court, as his son-in-law sat behind him clenching and unclenching his jaw, having already pleaded guilty to the murders.

A defense attorney on Monday said Chris Watts is "devastated" and "is sincerely sorry for all of this". But he declined to speak. "He had a desire for a fresh start". The 33-year-old is not eligible for parole.

Chris Watts' parents also testified at the sentencing through a spokesperson.

The killings captured the attention of media across the country and became the focus of true crime blogs and online video channels, aided by dozens of family photos and videos that Shanann Watts shared on social media showing the smiling couple spending time with their children.

Chris Watts pleaded guilty to all of the charges against him: five counts of murder in the first degree; three counts of tampering with a deceased human body; and one count of unlawful termination of pregnancy.

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