- Associated Press - Friday, June 26, 2015

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A 22-year-old Idaho man has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the killing of a former Arizona power company executive, his wife and their adult son at their Boise home.

Adam Dees of Nampa appeared Friday in 4th District Court to enter his plea to three counts of first-degree murder and one count of robbery. In exchange, prosecutors say they will not seek the death penalty. Instead, they have agreed Dees should serve life in prison without parole for the murders and 25 years for the robbery charge.

“Sir, I killed three people,” Dees told 4th District Judge Samuel Hoagland.

Prosecutors allege Dees killed 80-year-old Theodore M. Welp, 77-year-old Delores Elaine Welp, and 52-year-old Thomas P. Welp on March 8 or 9. The bodies were found March 10.

Dees is said to have acted alone and did not know the victims ahead of time. Attorneys for Dees did not immediately return phone calls from The Associated Press.

Hoagland accepted Dees’ guilty pleas and scheduled sentencing for Aug. 28.

“Our family needs to heal, and our family needs time together, living our lives in order to heal wholly,” said George Welp, son of Theodore and Elaine and brother of Thomas, reading a statement to the media after Dees’ guilty plea.

George Welp added that it has been difficult for his family to understand why and what happened to their loved ones.

The Welps formerly lived in Arizona, where Theodore Welp was the chief of Tucson Electric Power Co. in the 1980s.

An April 8 grand jury indictment says all three were shot in the head and beaten with a baseball bat, and Thomas Welp was also stabbed in the neck. All three bodies were found on a bed.

Outgoing Sheriff Gary Raney previously described the crime scene as one of the bloodiest he had seen in his 31 years of law enforcement.

Authorities revealed Friday that Dees told an online gaming friend that he killed three people, adding that it “got physical” when they refused to give him PIN numbers to their credit cards.

Dees was later found with the family’s credit cards and a 9-mm handgun. He also tried to sell Elaine Welp’s engagement ring, which was later recovered at a local jeweler.

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