BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A 22-year-old Idaho man will spend the rest of his life prison for killing a former Arizona power company executive, his wife and their adult son at a Boise home.
Adam Dees of Nampa was handed three life sentences on Friday with no chance for parole after striking a plea deal. Prosecutors decided to keep the death penalty off the table in exchange for Dees pleading guilty while also agreeing not to appeal the conviction.
“The murders were cold-blooded and especially brutal,” said 4th District Judge Sam Hoagland before issuing three life sentences, one for each victim.
Dees pleaded guilty in June to killing 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. They were each shot in the head and struck repeatedly with a baseball bat. Thomas Welp was also stabbed in the neck down to his spine. All three bodies were found on a bed.
The Welps formerly lived in Arizona, where Theodore Welp was the chief of Tucson Electric Power Co. in the 1980s.
“You took my mother’s life. You took my father’s life. You took my brother’s life. Now we take yours. One minute at a time,” said Katherine Nesci, the Welps’ daughter, while addressing Dees during the hearing in 4th District Court in Boise.
Dees is said to have acted alone and did not know the victims ahead of time. He 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.
“I think it turned out the best way for the community and the best way for the Welp family,” Deputy Ada County Prosecutor Brian Naugle said after the hearing.
During Friday’s hearing, a teary-eyed Dees told the court that he was sorry, while also mentioning that he had decided to live crazy right before killing the Welps.
“If I could take it back, I would,” he said.
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