Colorado prosecutors ask judge to block autopsies’ release

DENVER (AP) — Colorado prosecutors want a judge to block release of the autopsy reports of a woman and two young girls found dead at an oil work site, arguing that the cause of their deaths will be critical evidence during the trial of the man charged with killing his family.

In a request filed in Weld County Court on Monday, District Attorney Michael Rourke said releasing information from the autopsies could influence witnesses and affect future jurors.

Christopher Watts, 33, was arrested and charged in August with killing his 34-year-old pregnant wife, Shanann, and their two daughters, four-year-old Bella and three-year-old Celeste.

Autopsy reports are presumed public in Colorado. Judges can decide to seal them under certain conditions.

Judge Marcelo Kopcow had not ruled on the request on Tuesday afternoon.

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