Crime

Dees faces three counts of first-degree murder in Foothills slayings

Adam Dees, in jail since the day after three members of the Welp family were found dead in their Foothills home on a different charge, has now been indicted in the deaths.

The grand jury decision was announced at a news conference Wednesday concerning the brutal killing of Ted, Elaine and Tom Welp.

The indictment said Dees, 22, of Nampa, bludgeoned and shot Ted Welp, 80, his wife, Elaine, 77, and their son Tom, 52, in the head. It said Dees stabbed Tom Welp in the neck. A 9 mm handgun and a baseball bat were listed as the murder weapons.

The Welps were killed March 8 or 9, according to the indictment. Earlier, police said they were killed between March 8 and 10. Their bodies were found March 10, and Dees was arrested the next day for allegedly using the family’s credit cards.

Ada County Prosecutor Jan Bennetts, who was joined at the news conference by Sheriff Gary Raney, declined to say whether Dees knew the victims, whether there were signs of forced entry at the home or whether police are looking at other potential suspects.

“We know the community wants answers, and those answers will come through the court proceedings in this case,” Bennetts said. “It’s important that we protect the integrity of this case and let the court process take its course to ensure Mr. Dees receives a fair trial.”

No decision has been made on whether to seek the death penalty if Dees is convicted. That decision “will be made after thoughtful consideration and review of all of the facts as applied to the law,” Bennetts said.

After the news conference, Raney said detectives had cleared Dees’ two roommates of any involvement in the crimes. “They are not suspects,” he said.

The grand jury also indicted Dees on charges of stealing jewelry and credit cards belonging to Ted and Elaine Welp. Dees allegedly used the cards belonging to Ted Welp to make purchases March 10 at Sears, Oakley and The Buckle stores and at the Barbacoa restaurant.

Raney previously described the crime scene as probably the bloodiest and most horrific he has seen in 31 years of law enforcement.

Dees was served with the indictment Wednesday at the Ada County Jail, where he has been held on credit card fraud charges. A date for arraignment on the new charges had not been set by Wednesday evening.

Veteran prosecutors Jean Fisher and Brian Naugle have been assigned to the case, Bennetts said.

The Welp family released a statement through Bennetts, thanking the prosecutors and the Sheriff’s Office for their diligence. “We ask that you respect our privacy,” the statement said.

Raney said 50 detectives, crime scene investigators and patrol deputies have logged more than 1,000 hours on the case during the past four weeks.

“I’m very proud of the work that they’ve done,” Raney said. “It’s taken time away from their families, from their personal time, to bring justice for this case. They have done an exceptional job in doing that.”

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