A DAD has finally pleaded guilty to murdering his pregnant wife and two young children to avoid the death penalty.
On Tuesday, Watts pleaded guilty to nine counts; four counts of murder (one for each child, his wife and their unborn child), unlawful termination of pregnancy, and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body. Shanann was 15 weeks pregnant with a baby boy they were going to name Nico.
Rourke said he had detailed conversations with Shanann Watts' family after Christopher Watts' attorney approached him about a possible deal.
Watts reported his wife and their girls, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste, missing August 13 from their home in Frederick, a town about 30 miles north of Denver.
Investigators say Watts killed his family and then dumped their bodies on the property belonging to an oil company.
His wife was buried there and the girls were submerged in crude oil, with their remains found by police who used a drone to search areas identified by Watts.
According to court documents, a police investigation determined that Watts "was actively involved in an affair with a co-worker". He added that law enforcement never believed Watts' defense that Shanann Watts had strangled her daughters to death, sending him into a rage that led him to strangle his wife to death.
Taking a stab at Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, who had repeatedly opposed the execution of another death row inmate Nathan Dunlap, Rourke said: 'We explained to them the extraordinary delays that now exist in the state of Colorado as a result of in part the actions of our current governor.More news: Yoga studio shooter was a racist misogynist who found solidarity with 'incels'
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"That about as firmly as she could have said it to me", Rourke said.
Mr Rourke said he was not willing to dismiss any charges in exchange for the promise of guilty pleas.
Rourke said he hoped the agreement would bring some measure of closure for the family, who were present during the court hearing and the press conference.
He said the family was strongly against pursuing the death penalty, especially after they discussed the extensive delays in the process in Colorado.
"I know that will never be fully realized because, obviously, the tragedy that sits before us today is the loss of four lovely lives". Rourke said he was "sick" and "saddened' over the case".
Shanann Watts' mother, father and brother were in court Tuesday but chose not to speak to the media.
"No one wins today", he said. "The spotlight shines directly where it belongs - on him", Rourke said. I never wanted to have to stand up and have a press conference like this.