Chris Watts sat in a Colorado court awaiting his fate with his mom telling him she loves him while the family of his deceased wife cursed his very existence. Judge Marcelo Kopcow gave Watts five life sentences, three consecutive and two concurrent, with no possibility of parole in the deaths of Watt’s two daughters and pregnant wife. Before the sentence was handed down, Judge Kopcow called the case “the most inhumane and vicious crime that I have handled out of the thousands of cases that I have seen.”
The Judge also gave Watts another 48 years for the death of his unborn son, and yet another 36 years for the crimes involved in the disposal of the bodies.
Watts sat in the courtroom, legs shaking in anticipation and his head looking down, not even looking up as his mother faced him, tears streaming down her face and said:
“We have loved you from the beginning and we still love you now.”
The only words that Watts muttered during the proceeding: “No, sir,” when the Judge asked if he wished to deliver a statement.
Before the sentence was delivered, Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke revealed horrid details about the case, including how Watts strangled his wife, Shanann, their daughters, Bell, 4, and Celeste, 3, before disposing of their bodies in an area near where he worked.
“The man seated to my right smothered his daughters,” Rourke said. “Imagine the horror in Bella’s mind as her father snuffed out her life. … She fought back for her life as her father smothered her.”
With the approval of his wife’s family, the possibility of the death penalty was dropped for Watts, who pleaded guilty earlier this month to first-degree murder along with other charges. Watts’ sentencing comes just days after Nichol Kessinger, 30, who Watts 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.
“It got to a point that he was telling me so many lies that I eventually told him that I did not want to speak to him again until his family was found,” she told the paper, explaining that she called police on August 15 to report Watts’ lies.
Watts’ in-laws had much to say to him before he was escorted away to spend the rest of his life in prison. Shanann’s parents had urged prosecutors to spare Watts the death penalty, which they do not believe is moral.
“Our Shanann loved you with all her heart. Your children loved you to the moon and back,” Shanann’s mother said, still holding her composure through the first half of her speech.
She lost it as she recalled the title of a song Bella sang: “Daddy You’re My Hero.”
“I have no idea who gave you the idea you have the right to take their lives,” the shattered mother said, sobbing. “I didn’t want death for you, because that’s not my right.”
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