BUSINESS

Bail set at $2 million for suspect in Idaho triple killing

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A judge set bail at $2 million on Thursday for an Idaho man who prosecutors said was arrested with credit cards linked to a former Arizona power company executive, his wife and their adult son who were found slain in a foothill home outside Boise.

Adam M. Dees, 22, of Nampa wore restraints but appeared relaxed during his appearance in Ada County Court via a video feed from jail.

In a clear voice, Dees said "no" when asked by Judge Theresa Gardunia if he would be able pay the bail.

Dees is not charged with murder. He faces three counts of grand theft, three counts of forgery and a misdemeanor count of carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

The weapon was a 9 mm handgun found tucked into Dees' waistband, prosecutors said. Authorities have not said if the weapon was linked to the killings.

The victims were identified as 80-year-old Theodore M. Welp, 77-year-old Delores E. Welp and their son, 52-year-old Thomas P. Welp. No motive or causes of death were released. They were found at the home on Tuesday.

Defense attorney Isaiah L. Govia had asked for bail of $25,000, noting his client had no previous felony convictions. He also said Dees was put on suicide watch after being arrested because he is bi-polar and schizophrenic and didn't have access to his medication.

Police arrested Dees on Wednesday at an electronics store. Prosecutors listed a handful of other sites where they said Dees used the credit cards and forged names.

Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney asked the public for help in determining a possible connection between Dees and the Welps. Authorities were also looking for information on a wedding ring they believe Dees had tried to sell. They didn't know if it is connected to the killings.

Raney has said the killings were the most violent he had seen in three decades of working in law enforcement.

"When I say this crime is heinous, that is probably an understatement," he said.

The killings took place in what records say is a three-bedroom, three-bathroom home on about 20 acres with a total value of about $800,000, owned by Theodore and Elaine Welp. Authorities say the property has horses and other buildings.

The Welps formerly lived in Arizona, where Theodore Welp was the chief of Tuscon Electric Power Co. in the 1980s. He was blamed by some for the financial downfall of the company.

The Arizona attorney general's office launched an investigation into the financial dealings but the probe did not result in criminal charges.

Theodore and Elaine Welp were also involved with charitable organizations, including an organization that funds research on vision impairment and blindness.