Before Chris Watts was handed multiple life sentences, the 33-year-old broke down as his parents issued a statement and a prosecutor detailed the way he killed his family.
In the days leading up to his sentencing, Watts’ parents, Cindy and Ronnie Watts, sat down for their first televised interview.
As a result of the backlash from that interview, which Dearly previously reported on, Cindy and Ronnie took their time in front of the judge to explain their previous statements.
They said, through their lawyer, in part:
“We are not in any way condoning or tolerating the crime that has occurred and the pain that has been caused. …
This is something that we will never get over. We appreciate the consideration that everyone has paid, most especially the families that has lost everyone. We appreciate that they begged for Christopher’s life.”
Their statement continued:
“[The prosecution] took the time to explain that the information that my clients had at the time that they were interviewed was not correct, they were misinformed. They were searching for answers. They were not intending to cause any pain to anyone.”
His parents also told their son that they forgive him and will continue to love him despite what he has done.
Also speaking to the judge was Watts’ father-in-law and Shanann’s father, her brother, and her mother.
Shanann’s mother said during her statement:
“God makes no mistakes on who he puts into your life. Marriage is about love, trust, and friendship, and unity. We marry in sickness and in health till death do us part. Our daughter, Shanann, loved you with all of her heart. Your children loved you to the moon and back, Shanann’s family was her world. Shanann put a crown on your head, but unfortunately the day that you took their lives, God removed that crown. We loved you like a son, we trusted you, your faithful wife trusted you, your children adored you and they also trusted you.
Your daughter, Bella Marie, sang a song proudly, and I don’t know if you got to see it, but it was, ‘Daddy, you’re my hero.’
I have no idea who gave you the right to take their lives, but I know God and his mighty angels were there at that moment to bring them home to paradise. God gives us free will, so not only did you take the family of four, your family of four, you took your own life.”
His mother-in-law explained that she didn’t want the death penalty for Watts because that’s not her right. She added that she prays that God has mercy on him.
Watts seemingly broke down during the many statements before asking his attorney to make a short statement on his behalf.
In that statement, Watts said:
“He is devastated by all of this. And although he understands that words are hollow at this point, he is sincerely sorry for all of this.”
Watts himself then said “no, sir” when asked if he wanted to make a statement on his own accord.
The judge presiding over the hearing eventually found the plea agreement to be fair under the circumstances and sentenced Watts to five consecutive life sentence without the possibility of parole for the murders of Shanann, Bella, and Celeste Watts. He was also sentenced to 48 years for the unlawful termination of his unborn son, Nico Watts, and an additional 36 years was imposed for the three counts of tampering with a body.
The judge described the crime as “senseless,” “vicious,” and “despicable” before calling it “perhaps the most inhumane crime” that he has handled in nearly 17 years.