Colorado fetal homicide law at issue in killings of pregnant wife and two young daughters


    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, lived Thursday, Aug. 16. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

    Update at 1:40 p.m.

    FREDERICK, Colo. (AP) —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.

    Tributes grow outside the home where a pregnant woman and her two daughters lived Thursday, Aug. 16. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

    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.

    Tributes grow outside the home where a pregnant woman and her two daughters lived Thursday, Aug. 16. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

    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.

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    Orignial Story:

    FREDERICK, Colo. (AP) — Shanann Watts' Facebook page painted a portrait of a happy married life — of a woman dedicated to her husband and their two young children. She called her husband "my ROCK!" and said he was "the best dad us girls could ask for."

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

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