Chris Watts says he is 'devastated and sincerely sorry for all of this' as he is sentenced to life in prison
Chris Watts was only moments away from the end of his sentencing when the judge described the murders in gruesome detail
Only moments after his very brief statement was shared in the court by one of his defense attorneys, the judge in Chris Watts' murder case sentenced him to life in prison without any possibility of parole, which is the maximum penalty he received under the plea deal he accepted from the prosecutors in order to avoid capital punishment. His attorney told the court on November 19 in Weld County: "Mr. Watts has asked us to share this morning that he is devastated by all of this."
His attorney also said, two weeks after Chris pleaded guilty to the charges: "Although he understands that words are hollow at this point, he is sincerely sorry for all of this." The 33-year-old declined the offer to make a statement himself when the judge asked him if he wanted to, PEOPLE reported.
The Colorado man was only moments away from the end of his sentencing when the judge described the murders in gruesome detail. The Watts family and Shanann's family also gave emotional statements in the court. Michael Rourke, the Weld County District Attorney, explained to the court how Chris strangled his 34-year-old pregnant wife, Shanann, to whom he was married for almost six years, with his bare hands shortly after she returned home from a work trip.
Rourke said that Bella and Celeste, the couple's two young daughters, were smothered by Chris. It was also revealed at the sentencing hearing that Bella fought for her life while she was being smothered. Judge Marcelo A. Kopcow said: "I’ve been a judicial officer now for starting my 17th year and I could objectively say that this is perhaps the most inhumane and vicious crime that I have handled out of the thousands of cases that I have seen."
The judge continued: "Nothing less than a maximum sentence would be appropriate, and anything less than that maximum sentence would depreciate the seriousness of this offense."
The prosecutors confirmed at the sentencing for the first time important details regarding the murders that took place. Rourke told the court how Shanann and the children were killed. Chris then loaded the bodies into his truck and dumped them at a remote oil work site. His pregnant wife was buried in a shallow grave and his daughters were submerged into oil tanks close by.
Rourke also said that Chris' motive "was simple". He said: "He had a desire for a fresh start, to begin a new relationship with a new love." Authorities had already revealed that Chris was cheating on Shanann with his co-worker at the time of the murders.
The DA described this as being in "stark contrast" to the time before the murders when Shanann was trying to save the marriage and Chris was not interested. He said: "None of this answers the question of why, however. If [Chris] was this unhappy and wanted a new start, get a divorce. You don’t annihilate your family and throw them away like garbage."