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The Latest: Colorado fetal homicide law at issue in killings

This photo combo of images provided by The Colorado Bureau of Investigation shows, from left, Bella Watts, Celeste Watts and Shanann Watts.  The Frede...
This booking photo from the Weld County Sheriff's Office shows Chris Watts. Authorities say Watts, the husband of a missing family in Colorado has bee...
Christopher Watts glances back at a Weld County Sheriff's Deputy as he is escorted out of the courtroom at the Weld County Courthouse Thursday, Aug. 1...
Christopher Watts is escorted into the courtroom before his bond hearing at the Weld County Courthouse on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in Greeley, Colo. W...
Christopher Watts looks down during his bond hearing at the Weld County Courthouse Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in Greeley, Colo. Watts, of Colorado, whos...
Judge Marcelo A. Kopcow speaks to the attorneys during the bond hearing for Christopher Watts at the Weld County Courthouse Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, i...
Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke waits for the bond hearing for Christopher Watts to begin at Weld County Courthouse Thursday, Aug. 16, 20...
An unidentified young boy places a bouquet of flowers on a pile of tributes outside the home where a pregnant woman and her two daughters lived Thursd...
Ashley Bell places flowers with the growing number of tributes outside the home where a pregnant woman and her two daughters lived Thursday, Aug. 16, ...
Ashley Bell reacts after leaving flowers among the tributes growing outside the home where a pregnant woman and her two daughters lived Thursday, Aug....
From left, 4-year-old Liberty Bell joins her mother, Ashley, and father Steven as they put a tribute with others outside the home where a pregnant wom...
Ashley Bell, left, is consoled by her husband, Steven, and 4-year-old daughter Liberty as the woman places a tribute outside the home where a pregnant...
Tributes grow outside the home where a pregnant woman and her two daughters lived Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in Frederick, Colo. The woman's husband has...
Tributes grow outside the home where a pregnant woman and her two daughters lived Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in Frederick, Colo. The woman's husband has...
Irene Montoya of Aurora, Colo., places a bouquet of flowers as tributes grow outside the home where a pregnant woman and her two daughters lived Thurs...
A pump jack sits near the home where a pregnant woman and her two daughters lived Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in Frederick, Colo. The woman's husband has...
Baltasar Gutierrez, left, joins his daughter, Irene Montoya, in talking to reporters after they left a tributes outside the home where a pregnant woma...
Tributes grow outside the home where a pregnant woman and her two daughters lived Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in Frederick, Colo. The woman's husband has...
A photograph sits amid the tributes as they grow outside the home where a pregnant woman, Shanann Watts, and her two daughters, Bella and Celeste, liv...
A photograph sits amid the tributes as they grow outside the home where a pregnant woman, Shanann Watts, and her two daughters, Bella and Celeste, liv...
A photograph sits amid the tributes as they grow outside the home where a pregnant woman, Shanann Watts, and her two daughters, Bella and Celeste, liv...

This photo combo of images provided by The Colorado Bureau of Investigation shows, from left, Bella Watts, Celeste Watts and Shanann Watts. The Frede...

This booking photo from the Weld County Sheriff's Office shows Chris Watts. Authorities say Watts, the husband of a missing family in Colorado has bee...

Christopher Watts glances back at a Weld County Sheriff's Deputy as he is escorted out of the courtroom at the Weld County Courthouse Thursday, Aug. 1...

Christopher Watts is escorted into the courtroom before his bond hearing at the Weld County Courthouse on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in Greeley, Colo. W...

Christopher Watts looks down during his bond hearing at the Weld County Courthouse Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in Greeley, Colo. Watts, of Colorado, whos...

Judge Marcelo A. Kopcow speaks to the attorneys during the bond hearing for Christopher Watts at the Weld County Courthouse Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, i...

Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke waits for the bond hearing for Christopher Watts to begin at Weld County Courthouse Thursday, Aug. 16, 20...

An unidentified young boy places a bouquet of flowers on a pile of tributes outside the home where a pregnant woman and her two daughters lived Thursd...

Ashley Bell places flowers with the growing number of tributes outside the home where a pregnant woman and her two daughters lived Thursday, Aug. 16, ...

Ashley Bell reacts after leaving flowers among the tributes growing outside the home where a pregnant woman and her two daughters lived Thursday, Aug....

From left, 4-year-old Liberty Bell joins her mother, Ashley, and father Steven as they put a tribute with others outside the home where a pregnant wom...

Ashley Bell, left, is consoled by her husband, Steven, and 4-year-old daughter Liberty as the woman places a tribute outside the home where a pregnant...

Tributes grow outside the home where a pregnant woman and her two daughters lived Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in Frederick, Colo. The woman's husband has...

Tributes grow outside the home where a pregnant woman and her two daughters lived Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in Frederick, Colo. The woman's husband has...

Irene Montoya of Aurora, Colo., places a bouquet of flowers as tributes grow outside the home where a pregnant woman and her two daughters lived Thurs...

A pump jack sits near the home where a pregnant woman and her two daughters lived Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in Frederick, Colo. The woman's husband has...

Baltasar Gutierrez, left, joins his daughter, Irene Montoya, in talking to reporters after they left a tributes outside the home where a pregnant woma...

Tributes grow outside the home where a pregnant woman and her two daughters lived Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in Frederick, Colo. The woman's husband has...

A photograph sits amid the tributes as they grow outside the home where a pregnant woman, Shanann Watts, and her two daughters, Bella and Celeste, liv...

A photograph sits amid the tributes as they grow outside the home where a pregnant woman, Shanann Watts, and her two daughters, Bella and Celeste, liv...

A photograph sits amid the tributes as they grow outside the home where a pregnant woman, Shanann Watts, and her two daughters, Bella and Celeste, liv...

FREDERICK, Colo. (AP) — The Latest on the arrest of a Colorado man in the disappearance of his family (all times local):

11:20 a.m.

Accusations that a man killed his pregnant wife and two young daughters is prompting questions about Colorado's lack of a law allowing homicide charges in the violent deaths of fetuses.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Colorado is among 12 states without such a law.

Prosecutors are expected to charge Chris Watts on Monday. Watts was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of three counts of murder.

Violent crimes have prompted debate before in Colorado, including in 2015 after a woman cut open a pregnant woman's belly and removed her unborn baby.

Proposals to change the law have been stymied by debate about when a fetus can legally be considered a human being.

Colorado does allow a homicide charge if a fetus was alive outside the mother's body and then killed.

___

12:05 a.m.

Shanann Watts painted a rosy portrait of her family on Facebook, calling her husband and the father of her two young daughters her "rock" and writing that he was "the best dad us girls could ask for."

But that idyllic image was shattered Wednesday when her husband, 33-year-old Christopher Watts, was arrested on suspicion of killing his family.

Shanann Watts, who was pregnant, and the couple's 3-year-old and 4-year-old daughters were found dead in northern Colorado on Thursday.

No motive has been released, leaving family and friends searching for answers.

A June 2015 bankruptcy filing captures a picture of a family dealing with financial strain.

Christopher Watts, who is being held without bail, is expected to be formally charged by Monday.


Updated : 2021-04-17 02:56 GMT+08:00