A Colorado man who pleaded guilty in November to murdering his pregnant wife and their two young daughters has disclosed new details about the slayings, according to Steven Lambert, an attorney for the victims’ family.
Christopher Watts told investigators last month that he had just finished strangling his wife Shanann when 4-year-old Bella walked into the room, Lambert recounted Tuesday on the “Dr. Phil” show.
“What are you doing with mommy?” Bella allegedly asked her father as he wrapped her mother’s lifeless body in a sheet. He allegedly responded, “Mommy is sick. We need to take her to the hospital to make her better.”
Watts then smothered 3-year-old Celeste, the lawyer said.
“Please, Daddy, do not do to me what you did to Cece,” Bella allegedly begged before her 33-year-old father smothered her too. According to Lambert, investigators concluded that Bella, who was set to begin kindergarten weeks later, had put up a fight during her final moments.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation announced last week that Watts had provided “additional information” about the murders during a Feb. 18 interview with investigators. The CBI, the FBI and the Frederick (Colorado) Police Department are expected to release details from that interview this week.
Chris Watts received three life sentences without the possibility of parole in November after pleading guilty to murdering Bella, Celeste and Shanann, who was 15-weeks pregnant with their son, Nico. He had initially reported his wife and daughters as missing to police on Aug. 13. Just days later, after pleading for their return in TV interviews, he was arrested.
According to an arrest affidavit released in August, Chris then told police that he “went into a rage” and strangled Shanann after she strangled their two daughters. But prosecutors said he murdered his family to get a “fresh start” with a co-worker he was having an affair with.
Lambert told the “Dr. Phil” show that Chris murdered Shanann after a fight.
“He essentially confessed to having an affair, that he wanted a divorce, that it was pretty much over between them,” Lambert said. “She said something to the effect of ‘Well, you’re not going to see the kids again.’ As a consequence of that conversation, he strangled her to death.”
Investigators discovered Shanann’s body in a shallow grave on the property of Chris’ former employer. The girls’ bodies were found submerged in oil tanks nearby.
“If he was this happy and wanted a new start, get a divorce,” Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke said during Watts’ sentencing hearing in November. “You don’t annihilate your family and throw them away like garbage.”
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.