Defendant in Foothills triple murders arraigned

Adam Dees, accused of shooting and bludgeoning Ted, Elaine and Tom Welp to death in March at their home in the Boise Foothills, was arraigned in district court on related charges Thursday morning.

Fourth District Judge Sam Hoagland scheduled Dees, 22, to return to court May 14. That day, he will enter pleas regarding three counts of first-degree murder and burglary, forgery, use of a deadly weapon and carrying a concealed weapon.

Dees remains at the Ada County Jail, where he is being held without bond.

In an indictment issued last week, Dees is accused of killing Ted Welp, 80, his wife Elaine, 77, and their son Tom, 52. The murders took place on March 8 or 9, authorities said.

A baseball bat and 9 mm handgun were listed in the indictment as the murder weapons. The bodies were found in the home at 9700 North Cartwright Road the morning of March 10.

Ada County Prosecutor Jan Bennetts has not decided whether to seek the death penalty if Dees is convicted in the murders. Bennetts will have 60 days after Dees enters his pleas to decide that. If the death penalty is not sought, Dees would face up to life in prison.

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

Dees was arrested the day after the bodies were found. He was initially charged with stealing and using the murder victims’ credit cards. He was also accused of trying to sell Elaine Welp’s engagement ring. The ring was recovered from a local jeweler.

The arrest on credit card theft and forgery charges gave investigators time to look into the murders and take the case before an Ada County grand jury.