Chris Watts, who is accused of killing his pregnant wife and two young daughters, is "despondent" in jail, says a source

By Steve Helling
September 17, 2018 03:48 PM
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Chris Watts, the man accused of killing his pregnant wife and two young daughters in August, has been sitting in the Weld County Jail for more than a month.

A source who has spoken to Watts tells PEOPLE the severity of his predicament has sunk in.

“He’s not doing well at all,” the source tells PEOPLE. “The gravity of the situation has hit him like a ton of bricks. Depression is setting in, and he’s despondent.”

A source at the Weld County Jail recently confirmed to HLN’s Crime & Justice with Ashleigh Banfield that the 33-year-old murder defendant is under “Close Watch Protocol” — a technical name for suicide watch. PEOPLE has independently confirmed the report.

Guards must check on Watts every 10-15 minutes to ensure his well-being and must make visual contact with him. Additionally, Watts is not allowed the same privileges as other people at the jail, including no access to weights, reading material and television.

With nothing else to do, the source says, Watts spends most of his time in bed. “He sleeps all day and isn’t really talking to anyone, including his family.”

Chris Watts
| Credit: Joshua Polson/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Watts does occasionally speak with the guards who are assigned to his cell block.

Watts is physically searched several times per day and each day there is a complete cell inspection to ensure he is not hiding any contraband with which he could harm himself.

One hour per day, he is allowed to leave his cell; he is taken to a small room where he is allowed to shower and make phone calls to his family or to counsel. The room — known as the “hour-out room” — is not occupied by any other prisoners during the time he is there. He is also not allowed any commissary privileges.

Chris Watts, Shan’ann Watts
| Credit: Shanann Watts /Facebook

Watts was arrested on Aug. 15 and charged with first-degree murder, among other crimes, in the deaths of his wife Shan’ann, 34, and daughters, Celeste, 3, and Bella, 4.

They were reported missing on Aug. 13 and their bodies were found on the property of Chris’ former employer Anadarko Petroleum not long after he was taken into custody. Anadarko fired Chris the same day as his arrest.

In a document obtained by PEOPLE, investigators revealed they discovered Chris’ affair with an unnamed co-worker, which he initially denied. The document also alleges that he confessed to killing Shan’ann.

RELATED VIDEO: Pregnant Mom & 2 Daughters Killed at Home — Allegedly by Husband — Before Bodies Were Dumped

However, the affidavit shows, Chris allegedly said he only strangled his wife after watching her kill Celeste when he told her he wanted to separate.

Chris claimed that, at the same time, he saw Bella apparently lifeless nearby, according to the affidavit. Then he “went into a rage” and killed Shan’ann, later hiding all three bodies at an oil work site, he said.

Chris has not yet entered a plea. His lawyer did not respond to PEOPLE’s requests for comment but, according to a statement from the state’s public defender’s office, their attorneys are barred from discussing ongoing criminal cases.