In her latest interview, Cindy Watts said he killed his wife but not his daughters

By Steve Helling
November 14, 2018 04:27 PM
Weld County Sheriff's Office

The mother of Chris Watts believes her son is innocent of killing his two young daughters — despite his guilty plea last week to murdering the girls along with his wife.

“He did kill her, but the kids, no,” Cindy Watts said in a Skype interview with Fox 31 Denver. “It’s very difficult, very difficult. I can’t imagine my son doing that. He couldn’t have done that.”

Her explanation echoed her son’s initial explanation to police after his arrest following the the August murders of his wife of nearly six years, 34-year-old Shan’ann Watts, and their daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3.

After his arrest, under police questioning, Watts allegedly said he would “tell the truth” after investigators told him they found out he was having an affair with a co-worker, according to an affidavit supporting his arrest that was unsealed later in August.

Watts then admitted he killed Shan’ann after flying “into a rage” when, he claimed, he saw her strangling one of their daughters via a baby monitor after he had told her he wanted a separation, according to the arrest affidavit.

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But in court earlier this month, Watts pleaded to nine charges, according to prosecutors: five counts of first-degree murder, one count of unlawful termination of pregnancy and three counts of tampering with a dead body.

In pleading guilty, Watts essentially admitted his earlier explanation was a lie.

But Cindy Watts believes that her son’s confession was coerced, and that his initial explanation was true.

Shan’ann Watts

“He went into a rage, and he killed her when he saw her strangling Celeste,” Cindy Watts insisted in the interview, adding that she’s unable to talk to her son to convince him to rescind his guilty plea.

“I want to stop it before it’s too late,” she told the station. “I want to talk to him. I want to be able to talk to him. I love my son no matter what and I want to fight for him, and I don’t want him to go down for something he didn’t do.”

In an earlier interview with local station KMGH, Cindy Watts expressed concern for how her triple-murderer son would fare in prison.

He’s going to die in prison,” she said in an interview alongside Chris’ father, Ronnie, with local Denver ABC affiliate KMGH. (Different excerpts from the interview were published by other ABC affiliates.)

“There’s no telling what would be done to him in prison. I just want him to fight,” she added.

In the KMGH interview, Watts’ parents claimed he was in an abusive relationship with Shan’ann. They claimed Watts changed when he married her and that Shan’ann isolated Watts from his family.

“It was a very hard relationship,” Cindy Watts said. “It was a very hard relationship with her as far as I’m concerned. I couldn’t do anything right.”

Shan’ann’s parents reportedly issued a rebuttal describing Watts’ parents’ claims as “vicious, grotesque and utterly false.”

Shan’ann Watts (center) and her daughters
Shanann Watts /Facebook

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“On Monday evening, the parents of Chris Watts gave an interview in which they attempted to defend their son,” said the statement from Shan’ann’s parents. “In doing so, they felt the need to make vicious, grotesque and utterly false statements about [Shan’ann]. Their false statements, however hurtful and inaccurate, will never alter the truth about [Shan’ann], and will never alter the truth about the crimes committed by their son, Chris Watts.”

Reached by PEOPLE, Shan’ann’s father declined to comment further. Watts’ parents did not return a call.

Watts will be formally sentenced to life in prison on Monday.