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Chris Watts Owes $6M to Slain Wife's Parents

Colorado prisoner agrees to huge payment, with 8% annual interest rate
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2019 6:11 AM CST
This undated file photo from the Weld County Sheriff's Office shows Chris Watts.   (Weld County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)
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(Newser) – Christopher Watts owes $6 million to the parents of the pregnant wife he killed, who suffered death threats and "lost nearly all trust in people and humanity." A judge has ordered that Watts pay $3 million to Frank and Sandy Rzucek for emotional pain plus $1 million for each of the deaths of 34-year-old Shanann Watts, and the couple's two daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste, whose bodies were found on an oil site in Weld County, Colo. Shannan Watts' parents filed a civil suit against Watts on Nov. 19, 2018, the same day Watts learned he would spend the rest of his life in prison, arguing they've suffered "extreme emotional stress and damage" and for a time were "unable to work, leave the house, or even eat," reports the Denver Post.

"I think the hardest part is knowing our granddaughter watched her sister die, and then begged for her life," Sandy Rzucek said of Bella in a March interview, per NBC News. "Jamming their bodies in an eight inch hole … what could be worse?" Frank Rzucek, diagnosed with PTSD, still hadn't returned to work by the start of August, almost a year after the killings. "Between Defendant and the people attacking the Rzucek family, they have lost nearly all trust in people and humanity," a court filing states. Watts never fought the case, which the Rzuceks' lawyer previously said was designed to keep him from profiting from the murders in case he sold the rights to his story or penned a book. The amount owed will carry an 8% annual interest rate, though the Post notes that the Rzuceks are unlikely to see a dime. (Read more Christopher Watts stories.)

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