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Shackled Chris Watts Remains Stoic as Father-in-Law Sobs During Court Hearing

Shanann Watts’ father sobbed during a court hearing on Tuesday, August 21, as her husband, Chris Watts, appeared before a judge to hear his murder charges read aloud.

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Chris, 33, entered a Colorado courtroom in an orange jumpsuit with shackles around his wrists and ankles. He remained stoic, only quietly responding, “Yes, sir” and “No, sir” when Judge Marcelo A. Kopcow asked whether he understood the charges against him.

Chris Watts
Chris Watts NBC

Shanann’s father, Frank Rzucek, was sitting nearby and began sobbing into his hands while the charges were read. Her brother, Frankie Rzucek, tried to console their dad by rubbing his back while glaring at Chris, who did not look over at the father-son duo.

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The judge told Chris that the murder charges against him carry a minimum of life in prison and a maximum of the death penalty. His next court appearance is scheduled for November 19.

Chris Watts mugshot murder wife kids
Chris Watts Frederick Police Department

Chris was arrested late Wednesday, August 15, and formally charged five days later with nine felonies, including the first-degree murders of Shanann, 34, and their daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3. The remains of Shanann, who was 15 weeks pregnant, and their girls were found on Thursday, August 16, on a property belonging to Chris’ former employer.

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An arrest affidavit obtained by Us Weekly on Monday, August 20, claimed Chris told police that Shanann killed their daughters, which prompted him to strangle her in retaliation. The document also alleged that Chris was “actively involved in an affair with a coworker” before the murders. He denied cheating on his wife during previous interviews with authorities, but the affidavit claimed police confirmed his infidelity after conducting a two-day investigation.

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