Colorado man sentence to life in prison for killing pregnant wife, two young daughters

GREELEY, CO - AUGUST 21: Christopher Watts is in court for his arraignment hearing at the Weld County Courthouse on August 21, 2018 in Greeley, Colorado. Watts faces nine charges, including several counts of first-degree murder of his wife and his two young daughters. (Photo by RJ Sangosti - Pool/Getty Images)

COLORADO – A Colorado man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing his pregnant wife and their two young daughters.

Christopher Watts was sentenced Monday, nearly two weeks after pleading guilty to avoid the death penalty. Prosecutors have said Shanann Watts’ family consented to the plea deal.

He also pleaded guilty to unlawful termination of a pregnancy and tampering with a deceased human body. The 33-year-old is not eligible for parole.

Police have said Watts killed his wife, who was 15 weeks pregnant at the time, and daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste, inside their suburban Denver home. The children were found inside an oil tank. Watts was buried nearby.

A friend reported them missing in mid-August. In local news interviews before his arrest, Watts pleaded for his family’s safe return.

Judge Marcelo Kopcow said in his 17 years on the bench, “this is perhaps the most inhumane and vicious crime that I have handled out of the thousands of cases that I have seen.”