Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Christopher Watts, the Colorado man who admitted killing his pregnant wife and three children this year, was sentenced Monday to life in prison.
Watts, 33, pleaded guilty this month to the August deaths of wife Shanann and their daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3.
Investigators said Watts strangled all three and dumped their bodies in a Weld County oilfield where he worked.
Prosecutors said he wanted to start a new life with another woman.
Monday, Weld County District Court Judge Marcelo Kopcow sentenced Watts to the maximum penalty on three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of first degree murder of the children by another interpretation of the murder law because those who died were under 12, unlawful termination of a pregnancy, and three counts of tampering with a deceased human body. The murder counts call for life imprisonment without parole, and a plea bargain was arranged for those sentences to be served concurrently.
At the hearing in Greeley, Colo., Monday, Frank Rzucek, Shanann Watts' father, called his son-in-law a "monster."
"You thought you would get away with this," Rzucek said. "You carried them out of the house like trash. You buried my daughter Shannan and [the unborn child] in a shallow grave and then you put Bella and [Celeste] in containers of crude oil."
Kopcow said Watts will spend the rest of his life in prison.
In his sentencing statement, Kopcow cited "the viciousness of the crime" and noted the "despicable act of disposing of the bodies." He called Watts' actions "perhaps the most inhumane and vicious crimes that I have handled."