The Colorado husband accused of killing his pregnant wife and two daughters is claiming that it was actually his wife who killed his children – and that he killed her in a rage after watching it happen on the baby monitor, according to newly released court documents.
Christopher Lee Watts, 33, told investigators that he asked wife Shanann Watts, 34, for a separation after she returned home from a trip early Aug. 13. He later admitted to having an affair with a coworker, according to a probable cause affidavit filed Monday by the Weld County District Attorney’s Office. It’s not clear whether Shanann knew about the affair.
Watts claimed he then saw on a baby monitor as Shanann strangled their daughters, 3-year-old Celeste and 4-year-old Bella. He said he strangled Shanann to death in anger at what she had done, according to court documents. It’s not clear whether there is footage from the baby monitor to support Watts’ claim.
Watts said he loaded the bodies of his wife and daughters into the back seat of his truck and drove them to the oil field where he worked. Shanann was found buried in a shallow grave on the property. The bodies of Celeste and Bella were found in oil drums.
However, prosecutors aren’t buying Watts’ story about his wife killing the couple’s daughters. On Monday, Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke announced that Watts was being charged with five counts of first-degree murder in relation to the deaths of Shanann, Celeste and Bella. He was also charged with first-degree unlawful termination of a pregnancy relating to Shanann’s unborn child.
Shanann’s friend told police that she was 15 weeks pregnant, according to charging documents.
Christopher Watts is also charged with three counts of tampering with a body.
Before the District Attorney announced the charges against Watts, Shanann’s father Frank Rzucek spoke at the news conference, thanking police in the couple’s down of Frederick and the local community for their hard work and support during the investigation.
“Keep the prayers coming for our family,” Rzucek said.
Shanann Watts and her daughters were reported missing on the afternoon of Aug. 13. After news of their disappearance went public, Christopher Watts made an emotional appeal on local media, telling 9News “I’m just hoping right now that she’s somewhere safe.”