Family of Shanann Watts Wins Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The family of Shanann Watts has won their wrongful death lawsuit against her killer, Chris Watts.
A judge ordered Watts to pay the family over $6 million in damages on November 18, according to The Coloradoan.
Frank and Sandra Rzucek, Shanann's parents, filed the civil lawsuit last year in Weld County, claiming that Watts' crime inflicted them with "extreme emotional stress and damage."
Watts killed his wife, Shanann, their two daughters, Bella and Celeste, and their unborn child on August 13, 2018 in Frederick, Colorado.
He later lied about it on television, before admitting to the crime just days later. He continued to twist his story, even attempting to blame the children's murders on Shanann at one point in the investigation.
On November 19, 2018, Judge Marcelo Kopcow sentenced Watts to three life terms and 84 years in prison for the killings.
He was also ordered to pay for the funeral and burial costs of his victims, but it is unclear if he ever did this.
Shanann's family filed the lawsuit on the same day as his sentencing. Watts agreed to lawsuit's terms on November 5, 2019.
As part of the $6 million sum, Watts will pay the Rzuceks $1 million for the deaths of Shanann, Bella, and Celeste. He will also pay them $3 million for their emotional suffering, as well as around $530 in legal fees.
According to court documents, there will be an 8% annual interest rate on the payments.
Watts is currently serving out his sentence at the Dodge Correctional Institution, a maximum-security prison in Waupun, Wisconsin.