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Tag: plea deal (Page 2 of 3)

Ronnie and Cindy Watts believe Chris Watts didn’t kill Bella and Celeste, say Shan’ann “changed” him, was abusive and isolated him from his family

A trial means the whole truth comes out, is put under the light. It’s not just the story of the defendant, it also allows the victim’s story to be told. More than anything, it gives the community an opportunity to learn from their mistakes, potentially valuable and meaningful lessons.

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Now, with the sentencing less than a week away, we’re starting to learn that there’s more to the Watts story than we’ve been told. Who Shan’ann really was is the focus now, based on these admissions by Chris Watts’ parents. But are they telling the truth about Shan’ann, or they doing whatever they can to save their 33-year-old son from a desperate fate – life in prison without parole.


According to his parents believe he killed Shan’ann, but not his daughters:

“He did kill her, but the kids, no. It’s very difficult, very difficult. I can’t imagine my son doing that. He couldn’t have done that,” Watts said. Cindy Watts spoke from her home in North Carolina. She says her family is not being allowed to speak to Christopher and she thinks he was coerced by prosecutors into pleading guilty.

“I want to stop it before it’s too late. 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,” Watts said.


In their interview with ABC13, yet another side of the story has emerged:

Chris’ parents said their son changed once he met Shanann. “He was in sports from when he was 5 until 17 years old,” said Cindy. “There’s not one person you can talk to that will say anything about this kid. He was normal, he didn’t have a temper, he was just easy-going like his Dad. He’s not a monster.”

Chris’ parents said their son’s relationship with Shan’ann was abusive and they felt she isolated Chris from his family in the time they were together.

“It boils down to: I just want the truth of what really happened,” said Ronnie Watts, Chris’ father. “If he did it all, I can live with it. If he didn’t, I want him to fight for it.”

It seems incomprehensible that his parents wouldn’t go down to the jail to talk to their son ahead of the sentencing hearing on November 19. There’s still time to have a change of heart, and they have. But will he?

As Watts’ parents tell Media their son was “coerced” into making Plea Deal with DA the Rzuceks maintain their silence

The plea hearing one week ago today was bizarre for a number of reasons. The Rzuceks were there – on camera – during the press briefing afterwards, but said nothing to the media. The Watts family were there too, but someone got into the building and out of Greeley without being photographed by a single reporter. It was as if they were invisible.

Well, a week later the Watts family are breaking what appears to be a self-imposed silence. They’re maintaining that the plea deal was coerced, which suggests they [and perhaps Chris Watts himself] was pressured into signing the plea, and perhaps misled as well.

But there’s also the other side of the story. The Rzuceks. Do they not want answers too?


A few hours earlier reported on the story:

Christopher Watts will avoid the death penalty in exchange for the plea deal. He pleaded guilty to nine charges: Five counts of first-degree murder, one count of unlawful termination of pregnancy, and three counts of tampering with a dead body.

He will be formally sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Nov. 19.

Shannan Watts’ family declined to comment.

This suggests KDVR contacted the Rzuceks after Ronnie and Cindy Watts made their statement criticizing the plea deal, and the Rzuceks response was they had no comment. No comment, really?


Probably they’ve been given instructions by the District Attorney to play ball, at least until the sentencing hearing next week in Weld County Court, Greeley, on Monday November 19.

Chris Watts’ parents have until then to wave the flag that something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

“Dad, I could not put the girls with her after what she did — I could not put [them] with her” – Chris Watts

Six days after the plea hearing on November 6th, Chris Watts’ parents have spoken out for the first time. I’m surprised they haven’t spoken out sooner. I was also surprised they didn’t make a statement outside court when they were in Greeley. If they were given instructions not to talk to the media, they’ve changed their minds and gone against them now, and they’re right to do so. The right to a fair trial is a basic human right, guaranteed by law and constitution of the United States.

In this case that right does to to be maligned, in the sense that Watts appears to have been manipulated into accepting a plea. It’s also odd that his parents have felt shut out in this process. It’s one thing if the Rzuceks feel a plea suits them, it’s another if Watts parents feel it doesn’t. If it doesn’t they should say so and not stop saying so.

So which schmuck lawyer convinced Watts that pleading guilty was in his own best interest? Even if a jury sentenced him to death [given the circumstances of this case I believe that’s far from certain], it would be a sentence unlikely to be carried out, and one he could appeal against.

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When Denver7 spoke to the Watts family via Skype [by the sounds of it], the reporter asks Ronnie and Cindy, why now?

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Cindy answers, “Because we didn’t know about the plea deal.” Ronnie is looking down when she answers, and doesn’t nod to reinforce that answer. If they truly didn’t know, they should be furious. I believe they did know, but now feel they’ve been misled. It’s okay to say so.

Then Cindy adds: “We were not allowed to talk to him about it.” I’m not sure this is entirely accurate either, because if they visited him in jail, it certainly came up. Probably they didn’t get to discuss the plea deal as openly and completely as they would have liked, or – more likely – they thought they were doing the right thing, and now [a week before the sentencing hearing] they’re having second thoughts. It’s okay to feel that way.

As soon as a defendant feels a particular plea isn’t in his best interest, he’s allowed to rescind it, or to appeal the plea if he does so late in the legal steeplechase.

CINDY: I asked Chris, if you didn’t do this [presumably referring to the murders of the children], do not confess to something you didn’t do. She [referring to Watts’ defense lawyer] she shut me down…she completely shut me down.

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“She” seems to be a reference to Kathryn Herold or Megan Ring.  It’s likely Cindy is accurate on this point. If Watts’ state appointed defense attorneys were pressuring him to take the plea deal, then they wouldn’t want Cindy interfering with that process.

Looking at Ronnie, Cindy recalls her son telling her [them]:

“He said ‘I’m sorry, I lost [interrupts herself…his temper?] I went into a rage [Ronnie mumbles something] and…I killed her.’ And he said, ‘I’m so sorry.’ He said: ‘I’ve ruined your life. I’ve ruined my life.’ “

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It’s interesting watching Ronnie and Cindy together. Cindy takes the initiative. She speaks for the most part while Ronnie takes a back seat. But then when Chris Watts’ father says something, it’s quite a big deal.

RONNIE: Well, he told me, he said ‘Dad, I could not put the girls with her, after what…after what she did.

What did Shan’ann do? Is this a broad reference to her succumbing to the Le-Vel black hole?

RONNIE: He said, ‘I’m not putting her with her [them].’

Ronnie and Cindy both don’t seem surprised by their son’s dislike for Shan’ann. It’s possible they’d known about it for years because Chris Watts had lived it, and they’d also experienced Shan’ann themselves. Beyond the MLM crowds who liked one another on social because there was an incentive in doing so [I scratch your back if you scratch mine], Shan’ann was perhaps an acquired taste.

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When the Denver7 reporter asks Watts’ parents to explain how putting the children in the oil tanks was a gesture of good will, both Ronnie and Cindy are a little caught out. Both answer, speaking over one another, that they still don’t understand that.

His parents are arguing that Watts gave the girls and Shan’ann a different [separate] burial, and seem to be saying through that he showed his disdain for Shan’ann. The oil tanks seems to a more heartless form of burial than a grave in the Earth, so I’m not sure that argument holds. I think it is true that his feelings for Shan’ann differed markedly from his feelings towards his children. I think towards the end Chris Watts really could not stand his wife. Ronnie and Cindy confirming this speaks volumes.

Perhaps responding to the legions on Facebook responding with the knee-jerk catchall [which they apply universally to true crime], Cindy maintains that her son isn’t a psychopath or a sociopath.

When the Denver7 reporter refers to a trigger, he references his own question to Watts during his Sermon on the Porch.

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Watts answered then that they had an emotional conversation but “let’s leave it at that”. Unfortunately the reporter didn’t ask “an emotional conversation about what”? Watts wanted to leave it at that, but if he the reporter had insisted, probably the inference would have been they had an emotional conversation about splitting up.

That’s what the affidavit says.

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When the Denver7 reporter asks Ronnie and Cindy about it, Cindy’s voice rises with emotion:

“He was leaving her.” Ronnie mouthes “leaving her” in the background as well.

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But that’s not the trigger. The separation was a precipitating factor, and as I’ve mentioned in TWO FACE, it was a long time coming. In fact the six weeks Shan’ann spent in North Caroline from the 9th to the 15th week of her pregnancy was either officially or unofficially part of that trial separation.

We also know that during this trip, Shan’ann’s mother told her work colleagues at Hair Jazz in Aberdeen [which is a few miles West of Spring Lake] that her daughter and son in law were having difficulties with their marriage and “definitely” intended separating.

But separating because of what? The trigger isn’t the separation, it’s the thing causing the separation. Was it the affair or affairs Watts was “actively” engaged in? Once again, that’s not a trigger. Being in an affair isn’t what triggers an affair. The trigger may have something to do with Watts’ sexuality, or the constant bummer of the MLM debt spiral Shan’ann was locking them into, or the pregnancy, or a combination of all these factors.

If Chris Watts intended to separate from Shan’ann before April, then the “surprise” pregnancy wasn’t a surprise at all, it was a strategic manoeuvre to lock her man into the marriage. Maybe he went along with it, like the Watts parent went along with the plea deal, then changed their minds after. Maybe Shan’ann agreed to quit the MLM, if he stayed in the marriage, she’d quit with the MLM. But maybe she reneged on that promise, and that was what the trip to Phoenix was all about.

RONNIE: He just wasn’t in love with her any more, he said.

CINDY: If this actually happened like the- like they’re saying…that it did…that he killed them, then what was the trigger? 

RONNIE: If he didn’t kill the children, I want him to face that and let them prove it.There’s a whole lot of unanswered questions about the case. Everything happened too quick there, from a case status thing to a plea. 

CINDY: It did.

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The Denver7 reporter asks Watts’ folks if they think their son was coerced into making the deal.

CINDY: I have no idea. 

RONNIE: The only reason I can think of, he’s tryna…for our family and for her family…for our family and his family not to go through a trial. Long drawn out trial.

CINDY:  It has been so overwhelming. And I feel like I have to do something to-to help my son to…to… I-I just need to do something. If he’s not going to fight, I want to fight for him.

Off camera Denver7 quotes Cindy adding that what his lawyers did wasn’t enough.

“To me, all they wanted to do was save his life, just save his life. Save his life and life in prison to me there’s no difference. He’s going to die in prison. I just want him to fight. I don’t want him to take this plea deal. I want him to plea[d] not guilty to the children.”

Watch the original interview on Denver7 at this link.

Chris Watts Plea Deal – things aren’t what they seem!

The legal game around the autopsy reports was a warm-up to the hand-wring that’s this plea deal.I’ve maintained from the start that the autopsy reports are so shocking, they’re being suppressed precisely to avoid stoking public outrage. If people knew what was in them, and what happened to Shan’ann’s, Bella’s and Celeste’s bodies, they’d DEMAND a full-blown trial, is what I’m saying.

But it goes further than that.

If you were Shan’ann Watts, if you’d been murdered, wouldn’t you want your murderer put on trial to account for what he did, and how and why he did it? Even more so, if your murderer murdered your chidren, your unborn child, wouldn’t you feel the crime absolutely deserved to be heard as a criminal trial?

So why not the Watts case? What’s so special about this case that it need to be shut down, and as high-profile true crime goes, this case has been shut down in record time.

It’s good to see a working defense attorney coming to the same conclusions as TCRS on the dodginess of this deal. Whoever is giving Chris Watts advice isn’t looking after Watts’ legal interests, and because of that, Watts could later claim his rights to proper counsel were [and are being] violated.


One may argue, boohoo, who cares about a murderer’s rights? Well, if due process isn’t followed, you can end up with a Making a Murderer type situation, where the suspect has been so badly “victimized”, that apologetic documentaries series come along years after the fact, made in his name crying foul, making the case that he’s a victim of the justice system.  That scenario can end up turning your monster criminal into a cause célèbre that ultimtely gets him acquitted.

Has Chris Watts really given up? Has his family?

Cindy Watts set up a GoFundMe account on October 5th, 2018, almost a month to the day before his plea agreement. She claimed she needed $50 000 for “medical help” for her son, because of a laceration on his neck [which happened on August 13], a fractured wrist and an Anterior Cruciate Ligament [ACL]  tear on his knee.

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While none of this is likely true, what is true is Cindy was trying to raise cash in hurry on behalf of her son. One day prior to posting the GoFundMe appeal, Cindy wanted Facebook to find her the best Defense Lawyer for her boy.

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At the same time she declared in all caps:


53 people liked/responded to her post.


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Meanwhile, the terms of the plea agreement itself seem to make provision for a change of heart.

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Chris Watts has the right to appeal both his conviction and sentence within 49 days of the sentence, or seven weeks after the hearing on November 19. Assuming it concludes the same day,  January 7th, 2019 is the cut-off date.

Chris Watts: Written Waiver and Guilty Plea

I am the defendant in this case.

I have had enough time to talk to my lawyer about this case, and he/she has discussed the evidence against me. I have fully explained my side to him/her.

I believe that the District Attorney has enough evidence to convict me at trial…

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Interesting. He has the right to seek post-trial reduction of his sentence.

Why did Chris Watts take the plea deal?

It doesn’t make any sense. Why go to so much trouble to commit triple murder of his own family, secretly dispose of their bodies only to confess, and then agree to a plea deal?

Or does it make complete sense?


This question is covered – and answered – in-depth in TWO FACE TWO POLLYANNAS due out in the next few days.

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Shan’ann’s brother Frankie is still venting on social media, but will the Chris Watts case disappear now that there’s not going to be a trial?

We get some insight into Shan’ann Watts through her brother Frankie Rzucek’s unfiltered social media. It’s not so much what he says that’s revealing, but how he says it.

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We know Shan’ann also had her moments on social media [don’t we all]. But since her Facebook page was also where her business was at, we can imagine she was pretty careful about keeping things clean and sanitary on Facebook.

Is it likely that the Watts case will fade now that a criminal trial is off the table?

Meanwhile, Chris Watts also has a sibling – Jamie Williams – that almost nothing has been reported on.

Chris Watts Hearing: Is the Motion to Deny Expanded Media Coverage Unusual?

On the face of it, pretrial hearings aren’t usually televised. Advisements and arraignments are, however. Thus far Chris Watts has made two court appearances, the first on Thursday August 16 [three days after the murders, and before the children’s bodies had been recovered] the second on Tuesday August 21. Both hearings were packed with media, and both were televised. The first hearing was held in a modest court room, the second in a larger court.

When 9News reported on the second appearance in the four-row courtroom “filled almost entirely with media”, they concluded:

Chris Watts’ trial has generated media attention from around the world. During Tuesday’s hearing, the judge said this has meant furthering proceedings will have to be held in [an even] bigger courtroom.

As I understand it, both those hearings in August were advisements.

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What is unusual about this case is the Warrantless Arrest Affidavit. Conventionally an arrest warrant is issued with reasons and facts. Think of a parking or traffic fine. The document, when issued, has all the pertinent information on it – time, date, location, infringement, license plate etc.

A warrantless arrest is executed by an affiant [a cop, sheriff or prosecuting attorney], and is done where there is probable cause. In other words, Watts was issued the warrant but not provided a full disclosure of facts or reasons for his arrest. In effect the warrant states:

We’re arresting you. We know what you did. We’re not ready to say what we know but we know enough.

It’s the equivalent of a traffic cop witnessing a car crash out of the corner of his eye. He doesn’t quite see what happens, he’s not quite sure what has happened, but he knows enough to take the driver into custody right then and there.

Given that Watts was arrested before the cadavers of his children were recovered [they were located and in the process of being recovered] we can see why the warrantless arrest was necessary. You want to secure your suspect ASAP but you’re also clearly not in possession of all the remains. Make sense?

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So why is this hearing not being televised?

A status conference is kind of a private and confidential pretrial trial where various issues are decided before commitments are made to invest in a full-blown trial. Think of it as the foreplay leading to an official engagement announcement. That stuff tends to be private. Both parties are basically deciding how confident they feel about their positions, how attractive the offers and proposals are, what they can get away with, and it’s also about the position and commitment of the other party.

status conference is a court-ordered meeting with a judge (or under some circumstances an authorized counsel) where they decide the date of the trial or to get updated information on a defendant for ongoing conditions, set forth previously by the courts such as house arrest or home monitoring.

A meeting of the judge and the lawyers (or unrepresented parties) in a pending legal matter, to determine how the case is progressing. At the status conference, the judge may ask about what discovery has been conducted, whether and how the parties have tried to settle the case, and other pretrial matters.

If a party does not attend the status conference, that party’s requests for scheduling changes will be ignored. If the plaintiff and/or a representative of plaintiff does not attend the status conference, the action may be dismissed.

Chris Watts’ appearance in Weld County District Court today for for a status conference is supposed to be his last court appearance before he’s scheduled for an arraignment. The arraignment is where he enters a guilty or not guilty plea.

The status hearing allows Watts the opportunity to preempt an arraignment. If so, the case is also settled outside of the glare of cameras. So no potentially controversial moment is recorded on camera when the District Attorney [for example] says, “Deal,” and everyone shakes hands and pats one another on the back.

Although pretrial hearings aren’t televised, an enormous number of news outlets have applied regardless. Do none of these media agencies know the law? It’s doubtful.

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On the other hand, there were a lot of media motions for expanded coverage of the first two hearings, and only some limited coverage was allowed, due to a combination of practical and logistical constraints.

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So why would the media apply for expanded coverage if they ought to know better? It may be that they’re simply taking their chances in the hope of a “break”. It may also be that they know, or suspect, this may be their last opportunity to get a bite at the cherry. Meaning: if there is a plea bargain, then that closes the book essentially on this case. The trial is shut down and the media narrative eclipsed.

Although today’s hearing may simply be a procedural status conference with no plea deal, the fact that it’s been moved forward by two weeks suggests some kind of urgency. This in itself is unusual as well. Remember, we’re in a scenario right now where there’s a separate trial pending for the release of the autopsy reports.

The media scrutiny of this case isn’t unprecedented, but it’s at the top of the pile when it comes to America’s high-profile cases right now. The response thus far hasn’t been to take the media into confidence, so-to-speak, from either party. This, and the scheduling of the hearing on the same day as the mid-term election when media resources will be stretched thinnest strongly suggests a deal is in the offing.

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Below is a copy of a request for expanded media coverage in the arraignment of Aurora shooter James Holmes. The Arapahoe Court granted limited permission to some, and denied permission to others. The motion as a whole is also redacted.

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