Colorado man sentenced to 3 consecutive life terms for killing wife, 2 daughters

Chris Watts plead guilty to avoid the death penalty

Colorado man sentenced to 3 consecutive life terms for killing wife, 2 daughters
A Colorado man pleaded guilty Tuesday to killing his pregnant wife and daughters as part of a plea deal. (CNN/Pool)

(CNN/RNN) - Chris Watts, who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and other charges in the killing of his wife and two daughters, was sentenced to three consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole on Monday.

Chris Watts, 33, pleaded guilty to all nine charges to avoid the death penalty but could spend the rest of his life in prison.

“This is perhaps the most inhumane and vicious crime that I have handled out of the thousands of cases that I have seen,” Judge Marcelo Kopcow said.

Shanann Watts, 34, who was pregnant, and their daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste were found dead in a shallow grave after they went missing in August.

During the sentencing hearing, Shannan Watts’s mother, brother and father read victim impact statements. Chris Watts listened with his head down.

The girls and their mother went missing in mid-August.

At first, Chris Watts played the part of concerned husband and father, and pleaded on television for the safe return of his family.

According to police, Watts then changed his story, saying he strangled his wife in a fit of rage after watching her choke Celeste.

It's not clear exactly why Watts killed his family.

The prosecutor in the case says authorities have a partial motive and will offer more detail after sentencing.

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