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Chris Watts ordered to pay $6m to his slain pregnant wife’s parents after they sued for damages

Convicted family killer Chris Watts is ordered to pay $6m to his slain pregnant wife’s parents after they sued for damages to ensure he never cashes in on the murders

  • Chris Watts murdered his pregnant wife Shannan and two daughters in 2018
  • Wife’s parents Sandra and Franklin Rzucek filed a lawsuit after his conviction
  • Parents unlikely to see any money from the lawsuit, but filed to prevent Mr Watts from earning money from selling his story 

Convicted murderer Chris Watts, currently serving multiple life sentences for killing his pregnant wife and their two daughters has been ordered to pay $6 million in damages to his deceased wife’s parents.

Sandra and Franklin Rzucek filed a civil law suit against Mr Watts on in November last year on the same day he was sentenced to serve three consecutive life sentences with no parole for the horrific murders.

NBC reported that Weld County Judge Todd Taylor ruled Mr Watts, who plead guilty to murdering his wife Shannan, who was 15 weeks pregnant at the time, and their daughters Celeste and Bella owed $1 million for each of their deaths and a further $3 million for emotional damages. 

Chris Watts was found guilty of several counts of first-degree murder in November last year

In August 2018, Mr Watts strangled his pregnant wife Shanann, 34, before driving his daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, to a remote location and murdering them

In August 2018, Mr Watts strangled his pregnant wife Shanann, 34, before driving his daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, to a remote location and murdering them

The Denver Post reported that this figure set to grow in interest by 8% each year. 

In August 2018, Mr Watts strangled his pregnant wife Shanann, 34, in their bed at their home in Frederick, Colorado, also causing the death of his unborn son, Nico.

Then he drove his daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, to a remote oil field where he worked, and smothered them in their blankets before squeezing their bodies through eight-inch hatches and dropping them into oil tanks.

Because of Mr Watts’ incarceration, the Rzucek family are unlikely to see any money from the settlement, however a lawyer representing the couple said last year that the lawsuit was primarily filed to prevent Mr Watts from profiting from the murders should he choose to sell his story. 
Franklin Rzucek, the father of Shanann Watts, left, and her brother Frankie Rzucek, in court for Christopher Watts arraignment hearing (file photo)

Franklin Rzucek, the father of Shanann Watts, left, and her brother Frankie Rzucek, in court for Christopher Watts arraignment hearing (file photo)

Chris Watts in prison where he will remain for the rest of his life

Chris Watts in prison where he will remain for the rest of his life

A book containing a series of letters written by Mr Watts to Cheryln Cadle, a 65-year-old grandmother from Illinois, was published last month, shortly after Ms Cadle gave an interview to the Daily Mail. 

In August, the US-based Lifetime network announced they were producing a movie based on the horrific Colorado murders called Chris Watts: Confessions of a Killer, set to air in January 2020.

Mr Watts, 34, who is serving his life sentences at the Dodge Correctional Institution in Wisconsin, did not fight the lawsuit, and reportedly agreed to the figure before the trial began.

A statement by Mr Watts’ lawyer acknowledged that he accepted the findings of thecourt and that ‘they have suffered extreme emotional stress and damage as a result of such loss.’ 

A court document stated that the Rzucek family ‘has not been the same’ since the murders.  

‘For a substantial period of time following the discovery of their daughter and grandchildren’s murders, they were unable to work, leave the house, or even eat.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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