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Frederick murder suspect pleads guilty

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GREELEY – Christopher Watts, the Frederick man accused of killing his pregnant wife and two young children earlier this year, entered a guilty plea to all nine charges he was facing.

He entered the plea Nov. 6. The charges included five counts of first-degree murder, unlawful termination of a pregnancy and tampering with a deceased human body.

Watts faced the possibility of the death penalty or life in prison without parole. Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke withdrew the death penalty piece in exchange for the nine guilty pleas.

According to an affidavit, the murders occurred in the early morning of Aug. 13 after an emotional conversation between Chris and Shannan in which Chris stated that he wanted a separation. Chris told law enforcement that he had gone downstairs and was returning to the bedroom to speak to Shanna again when he observed Bella “sprawled” out on her bed and Shannan strangling Celeste via a baby monitor on Shannan's nightstand. 

He told investigators he then “went into a rage” and ultimately strangled Shanna to death. He then loaded the three bodies into the backseat of his work truck and took them to an oil work site to bury. He said he buried Shannan near two oil tanks and dumped the girls inside the tanks.

Watts, 33, is due to be sentenced at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 19.