When Shanann Watts and the two girls went missing in mid-August, Chris Watts first told reporters they had gone to a friend's house before later pleading for his family's return in an interview with CNN affiliate KMGH. Watts had denied that before being arrested. His wife's body was found in a shallow grave nearby.
A bruise in the shape of a finger mark on her neck told investigators that Watts had strangled her slowly and without resistance, Rourke told the court: "The horror she felt as the man she loved wrapped his hands around her throat and choked the life out of her must have been unimaginable". Then, just hours later, the bodies of Bella and Celeste were found hidden inside of oil and gas tanks, not far from where the body of their mother was discovered.
Chris Watts told Kessinger he had two daughters and was going through a mutual divorce, which was nearly finalized, Kessinger said.
Mr Watts spoke to local television reporters from the front porch of the family home in Frederick, Denver, when news of his family's disappearance broke. Each said they still loved their son and urged him to seek God's forgiveness.
In a tearful delivery, Shanann's father, Frank Rzucek, called Watts a "monster" and said that Watts had taken his family out like trash.
Watts faces life in prison without a chance at parole for the murder charges.
As Mr Watts listened to the court proceedings with his head down, Ms Watts' parents detailed their ongoing struggle to understand how he could murder the three people who considered him a hero.
Shanann Watts is pictured with her two daughters, Bella and Celeste.
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His daughters were smothered, with prosecutor Michael Rourke saying there were signs Bella "fought for her life", but Celeste had no visible injuries.
Within days, the 33-year-old was arrested and charged with killing his family.
Watts will have an opportunity to make a statement during the hearing Monday in Weld County, but it's not clear if he will speak.
The prosecutor in the case says authorities have a partial motive and will offer more details after sentencing. He would offer more thoughts after Watts is sentenced, he said.
He was having multiple affairs at the time. I don't know how, the cameras don't lie. She never met any of his relatives or friends, Kessinger told The Post. Shanann Watts' family was OK with taking the option off the table, he said.
"When I read the news, I found out he was still married and his wife was 15 weeks pregnant", Kessinger told the newspaper. Family members have said she was pregnant with a boy she planned to name Nico.
Watts had been watching the girls while Shanann was out of town that weekend, and killed his wife shortly after she returned from the airport early in the morning of August 13.
Despite laying out his belief that Watts was after a fresh start, Rourke acknowledged that Watts may never reveal what drove him to murder them instead of simply leaving.