BURLINGAME -- A Millbrae man who could have faced life in prison if convicted of molesting two young family members has killed himself in a hotel room, his attorney said.

Richard Kenneth Watterworth, 49, shot himself Monday in Burlingame while out of jail on $1 million bail, but it is uncertain why he pulled the trigger.

"Everyone will interpret this as an admission," said his defense attorney Geoff Carr, who added that his client suffered from bouts of depression. "He didn't say why he was doing it."

Watterworth's death ends a case that saw him charged with 10 counts of child molestation, including an allegation that there were multiple victims, San Mateo County chief deputy district attorney Karen Guidotti said. The multiple victims accusation carried a life term, she added.

Watterworth also was charged with two counts of dissuading a witness. He allegedly abused two girls who were members of his family, prosecutors said. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Carr said it wasn't clear where Watterworth got the gun, but said the defendant and his family had a firearms collection. Carr wasn't sure of the type of weapon used. Before firing the fatal shot, Watterworth sent a text message to a friend informing him of his plans.

Watterworth was arrested in November after a family member alerted police to the suspected abuse.

Contact Joshua Melvin at 650-348-4335. Follow him at Twitter.com/melvinreport.