Adam Dees pleads guilty to Foothills murders, will spend the rest of his life in prison

George Welp said Friday he and the rest of his family support a plea agreement that guarantees his parent’s killer will remain in prison for life — and brings the case to a swift and just resolution.

Adam Michael Dees pleaded guilty Friday to three counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of Ted, Elaine, and Thomas Welp inside their Foothills home in March.

Dees will serve three fixed consecutive life sentences. In exchange for the guilty pleas, Ada County prosecutors will not seek the death penalty.

If 4th District Judge Samuel Hoagland approves the plea agreement as expected on Aug. 28, Dees will never leave prison.

George Welp, Ted and Elaine Welp’s son and Tom’s brother, attended Dees’ change of plea hearing Friday and said this when it was over:

“Our dad, mom and brother, whom we love dearly, were taken from us and this is something we will never understand.  To say the last three months have been devastating, overwhelming, and painful and would be an understatement.

We celebrate Ted, Elaine and Tom every day.  And we grieve for them. That will never change. But our family needs to heal.  Our family needs time together — living our lives —  in order to feel whole again.  That time will not be spent in a courtroom, enduring a trial, sentencing and appeals that would likely span years — even decades.

There is nothing that can bring my Dad, my Mom and my Brother back or make everything okay.   There is no punishment that will ever change what happened. Nothing a judge could ever do that would make it okay.

The best hope of justice for us is to ensure the person who killed our parents and brother can never — NEVER — harm anyone again.

That is why we support fully the work by the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office to put this murderer in prison for the rest of his life. We, as a family, will be able to move forward with our lives with some sense of peace that no other family – not even this murderer’s own mother and father, will ever have to know the pain we have felt because of him.

We miss our Dad, Mom, and Brother so very much and that will never change, but we are at peace knowing we can now move forward, focusing on life the way our parents and brother would want  – living with love and kindness.”

Dees also pleaded guilty to a count of robbery in connection with the case. He will serve a 25-year prison sentence for that in addition to the three life sentences without parole for the murders.

When asked by Hoagland during Friday’s hearing why he was pleading guilty, Dees told him “sir, I killed three people and robbed their home.”

The plea agreement also requires Dees to fully debrief Ada County Sheriff’s detectives about the crime.

Ada County prosecutors said Friday investigators have found no professional or personal connection between Dees and the Welp family and that all evidence points to Dees being the sole perpetrator of the murders.

More information about the case is expected to come out during Dees’ sentencing hearing on Aug. 28.

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