KUSA - The Frederick man who is serving multiple life sentences for killing his pregnant wife and their two young daughters has not fought a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the slain woman’s parents, who are working to ensure that he can’t profit from his crime.
The family of Shanann Watts first filed the wrongful death lawsuit against Chris Watts in November 2018, after he pleaded guilty to killing the pregnant 34-year-old and her daughters Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3.
In addition to making sure Chris Watts can’t collect any money from the sale of the couple’s home, the lawsuit also asks that he can’t profit from writing a book or selling the rights to tell the story of the murders, which garnered media attention from around the world.
According to court documents obtained by 9NEWS, Watts has not yet responded to the wrongful death suit, prompting Shanann’s parents Sandra and Frank Rzucek to file a motion Monday asking for what’s known as a default judgment, as the deadline for the defendant's response has passed.
This essentially means that they will automatically win the case should the judge allow it.
Chris Watts has not filed any motions or hired an attorney in relation to the wrongful death case, according to Colorado court records.
He is currently being held at a prison in Wisconsin after he was moved out of Colorado due to concerns about his safety.
Shanann Watts was last seen alive during the early morning hours of Aug. 13, 2018, when she returned home from a business trip. Her husband admitted to investigators that the two had an “emotional discussion” that morning.
It has since been revealed that Chris Watts was having an affair with a coworker and took trips with the woman while his wife and daughters were visiting family in North Carolina.
Chris Watts was arrested for the murders of his family on Aug. 15, 2018 – one day after he spoke to local media and implored for the safe return of his wife and daughters.
Prosecutors allege that the morning of Aug. 13, Chris Watts killed his wife and daughters and them into his pickup truck. The bodies of his daughters were found in oil drums on remote Weld County property owned by his then-employer, Anadarko. His wife was found buried in a shallow grave nearby.
While Chris Watts admitted to police he killed his wife, he alleged she was the one responsible for his daughters' murders up until his guilty plea.
When Chris Watts was formally sentenced on Nov. 26. 2018, the judge called what transpired the “most inhumane and vicious” he had ever seen. In exchange for pleading guilty to the crimes against him, the 33-year-old avoided the possibility of the death penalty.