Family Crimes

Shanann Watts’ Dad Weeps In Court As Chris Watts Is Arraigned

Chris Watts is accused of killing Shanann, who was pregnant, and their daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste.

Shanann Watts' father appeared inconsolable as his daughter's husband and the father of his grandkids was read his formal charges for their murders.

Frank Rzucek Sr. held his head in his hands as he cried and shook visibly on Tuesday as Chris Watts, 33 was arraigned. The husband and father appeared emotionless as District Judge Marcelo Kopcow read the formal charges against him.

Kopcow asked him if he understood that the charges could result in the death penalty.

Watts, who was sporting an orange prison jumpsuit responded, “Yes sir.”

Shanann's brother, Frank Rzucek Jr., glared at Watts during the arraignment. He also consoled his visibly upset father.

Watts did not enter any plea on Tuesday.

Just a day earlier, it was revealed that Watts claimed to police that he strangled his pregnant wife last week in a fit of rage immediately after she killed their two daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste, inside their Frederick, Colorado home.

According to the arrest affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com, Watts, 33, told police he had been having an affair with a coworker. He only admitted the affair during his third interview with police. At 4 a.m. Monday, about two hours after Shanann, 34, arrived home from a business trip, Watts said he told her he wanted to “go through with a separation.”

After the discussion, which Watts characterized as “emotional,” he claimed he walked downstairs for a moment and then returned to the couple’s bedroom to talk further.

"While in the bedroom, via baby monitor located on Shanann's right stand, he observed Bella 'sprawled' out on her bed and blue and Shanann actively strangling Celeste,” the affidavit states. “Chris said he went into a rage and ultimately strangled Shanann to death."

From there, he told police that he put all three bodies in the back of his truck, and drove them to an oil work site.

Last Thursday, Shanann’s body was found buried in a shallow grave on a property owned by Anadarko Petroleum, where Watts worked as an operator. The bodies of his two children were discovered nearby, submerged in crude oil, according to the Associated Press.

But prosecutors paint a different picture. On Monday, Watts was charged with nine felonies, including five counts of first-degree murder, according to the criminal complaint and information make public by a Colorado court. Watts also faces one count of first-degree unlawful termination of a pregnancy, and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body, according to the filings.

On Tuesday, Judge Kopcow said the prosecution claimed Watts’ crimes were acts of domestic violence. A status hearing for Watts has been set for Nov. 19.

The case has captivated and infuriated people across the country. Before their bodies were found, and before he was arrested, Watts made several emotional media appearances in which he appeared concerned about his missing family. In an interview with Today, Watts claimed he had last seen his wife early Monday morning, when she was arriving home from a business trip. He claimed he saw his girls asleep on a baby monitor. In one media interview, he was wringing his hands at his fear over the welfare of his wife. The family’s social media footprint tragically painted an ostensibly perfect picture of their home life.

[Photos: Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Facebook]

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