Chris Watts has been sentenced to five life sentences with no possibility of parole in the murders of his pregnant wife, Shan’ann, and their two daughters, Bella and Celeste.
Watts, 33, pleaded guilty this month to first-degree murder and other charges in the death of his wife, 34-year-old Shan’ann, his 4-year-old daughter, Bella, and 3-year-old daughter, Celeste.
His sentence included punishment for other crimes, including unlawful termination of an unborn child. Shan’ann was 15 weeks pregnant at the time of her death.
"I could objectively say this is perhaps the most inhumane and vicious crime that I have handled out of the thousands of cases I have seen,” Judge Marcelo Kopcow, who has served as a judge for 17 years, told Watts on Monday. “Nothing less than a maximum sentence would be appropriate."
Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke described how Watts killed his wife and children at the sentencing hearing.
Watts strangled Shan'ann and smothered his young children, Rourke said. The medical examiner's report noted Bella struggled before she died.
"The man seated to my right smothered his daughter," Rourke said, CNN reported. "Imagine the horror in Bella's mind as her father snuffed out her life. ... She fought back for her life as her father smothered her."
Shan'ann's family also spoke at the sentencing, providing emotional statements as Watts kept his head down and avoided eye contact.