Chris Watts' parents tell son they forgive him and hope for peace and healing for all at sentencing
They said they were devastated and confused about why he committed the horrific crimes but that they forgive him and that his family would always support him.
Chris Watts' parents read out their emotional statement in court at his sentencing hearing for the murder of his pregnant wife and children and it was addressed to him. They said they were devastated and confused about why he committed the horrific crimes but that they forgive him. Before Chris received his sentence in the court - life in prison without the possibility of parole - his parents' attorney read out a letter from them stating: "We are not here to ask for leniency and are not in any way condoning or tolerating the crime that has occurred or the pain that has been caused."
Chris pleaded guilty on November 6 to first-degree murder charges after he murdered his pregnant wife, 34-year-old Shanann Watts, and their two young daughters, Bella (4) and Celeste (3). He accepted a plea deal from the prosecutors in order to avoid capital punishment. At the sentencing hearing that took place on November 19, the prosecutors stated that Chris strangled Shanann and smothered his daughters.
The letter from his parents also thanked Shanann's parents for not seeking the death penalty for their son and also added that the murders "should never have happened. This is something we will never get over". Cindy Watts, Chris' mother, addressed her son directly while crying. She admitted that she was left horrified by what he did bit said, "I have always loved you and I still do. We love you and forgive you, son."
Chris' father Ronnie Watts addressed him and said: "The Bible says if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us. Chris, I forgive you and your sister forgives you and we will never abandon you." The triple murderer from Colorado could be seen weeping in the background as his parents spoke to him.
Both of his parents said that they were struggling to figure out why he did what he did. Ronnie said: "I believe he loves his girls. … I know he does." Cindy then said: "I am still struggling to understand how and why this tragedy occurred, I may never be able to understand and accept it, but I pray for peace and healing for all of us," she said. “I have watched you grow from a sweet and curious child who Bella reminded me so much of."
Shanann was 15-weeks pregnant with a baby boy whom she named Nico at the time of the murders. Aside from the guilty plea for the murders, Chris also pleaded guilty to two counts of murdering a child, one count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body.
At the sentencing hearing, Shanann's parents and brother read out emotional statements grieving the loss of the pregnant mother and her two young daughters. In a statement that was read on his behalf, Frankie Rzucek, Shanann's brother, said: "What kind of person slaughters the people they love the most?"
Sandra Rzucek, Shanann's mother, said: "I have no idea who gave you the right to take their lives, but I know God and his mighty angels were there in that moment to bring them home to paradise." Frank Rzucek, Shanann's father, however, kept referring to Chris as a monster and an evil person.