Man pleads guilty to charge of murdering pregnant wife and young daughters

A US man has pleaded guilty to the murder of his pregnant wife and two young girls in an effort to avoid a possible death sentence.

Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke agreed to drop his request for the death penalty in exchange for Chris Watts (33), from Colorado, accepting all the charges against him as part of a plea bargain, BBC writes.

Watts was arrested in August. The body of his wife, Shanann (34), was found in a shallow grave at his worksite at Anadarko Petroleum. Their daughters, Bella (4) and Celeste (3), had been dumped in nearby oil tanks, 9 News reports.

Watts originally admitted in a police affidavit to choking his wife after he saw her strangling the girls.

He alleged that his wife – who was 15 weeks pregnant at the time – was angry when he asked for a separation after admitting he’d had an affair with a co-worker. She then took out her anger on their toddler girls, CNN reports.

But in his latest court appearance, on 6 November, Watts – sobbing and wearing a bullet-proof vest –admitted it was all a lie.

“He deserves a life sentence for each and every act on top of each other,” Rourke said. “It was important that each of those beautiful human beings was respected in that sentence.”

Just days before his arrest, after his wife and girls had been reported missing, Watts told local media he missed his girls and pleaded for whoever had them to bring them back.

He faces three possibly face life sentences on charges including murder, the unlawful termination of a pregnancy and tampering with deceased bodies, Us Weekly reports.

Sources: People, BBC, 9 News, CNN