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Colorado man pleads guilty to killing pregnant wife, two children

A Colorado man accused of murdering his pregnant wife and two children in August pleaded guilty to all charges against him Tuesday.

Christopher Watts, 33, accepted a deal to have the death penalty taken off the table in exchange for pleading guilty to five counts of first-degree murder, unlawful termination of a pregnancy, and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body.

Watts faces three murder charges in the deaths of his wife and two daughters as well as two additional charges for the children because they are younger 12 years old.

Watts was arrested in August and confessed to killing his pregnant wife, Shanann Watts, 34, and daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, as well as their unborn child, Nico.

As part of the plea deal, Watts faces consecutive life terms on three of the five first-degree murder counts and on the one count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy, one life sentence for each of the murders.

The court will decide whether the other three charges will be served concurrently or consecutively.

He will also pay restitution to Shanann Watts' family, as well as funeral and burial costs for the victims.

Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke said Shanann Watts' family requested his office not seek the death penalty in the case.

"He made the choice to take those lives, I do not want to be in the position of making the choice to take his," Shannan's mother, Sandy Rzucek, told Rourke.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wren said the family was "in full agreement" with the deal reached with the defense.

Under Colorado law, Watts faces at least an automatic life sentence without the possibility of parole in a sentencing hearing scheduled for Nov. 19.
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