A judge has denied the request of an accused Colorado killer to keep the names of all his jail visitors under seal.
Chris Watts, who was reportedly having an affair at the time he allegedly killed his wife Shanann and their two daughters, Bella and Celeste, had submitted a request asking that the prosecution and members of the public not be allowed to learn who was seeing him in jail.
That request was denied however by the court on Monday.
At the same time, a bizarre new twist is developing in the case which could come into play on Tuesday when the autopsy reports must be submitted to the court.
Victims: Chris Watts had petitioned the court asking that the names of his jail visitors be kept under seal earlier this month (Watts above with his daughters and wife)
No go: The court denied that motion on Monday (Watts and his defense lawyers in August)
Motions filed over the past two weeks by Chris Watts and his defense attorney have objected to demands from the prosecution to turn over prints from his hands and feet.
Watts’ argument has been that the prosecution has not stated why they need the prints, at a time when the autopsies of the three victims have still been submitted in the case.
‘Based on the general nature of the pleading, Mr. Watts cannot make out the government’s need for buccal swabs, finger and palm prints, nor digital photographs,’ states the defense response to the first request earlier this month.
‘Because of that, Mr. Watts must conclude that the required seizure of Mr. Watts and the subsequent search of his person are unconstitutional for the reasons set forth below.
This could also help Watts’ defense as there will likely be very little DNA evidence found on either of his daughters given the fact that their bodies were not found until almost three days after their deaths, in a nearly full oil tank during the hottest month of the year.
Watts has claimed that his wife murdered the children and he killed her in a rage after witnessing the act, as he told police on the day the bodies were discovered.
Police had already located Shanann’s body just before Watts confessed to where he had brought the bodies to police.
Shanann, who he admitted to killing, could be exonerated in her daughters’ death based on DNA evidence found on her daughetrs.
Denied: Watts had submitted a request asking that the prosecution and members of the public not be allowed to learn who was seeing him in jail
A lack of DNA though, or even trace amounts, would likely mean that this claim would come down to how Chris defends these allegations on the stand.
The prosecution meanwhile is already doing all it ca to keep the autopsy reports under seal,
‘Shanann Watts, Bella Watts and Celeste Watts were murdered and their bodies moved from the initial crime scene,’ wrote the prosecution in a motion suybmitted last week.
‘There is a great deal of interest surrounding this case and at this time, the cause of the deaths has not been made public. Consequently, the observations and findings contained in the coroner’s autopsy report will be critical evidence at trial.’
The judge is expected to rule on that motion, as well as the requests for Watts’ prints, this week.