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Neb. Dad Smothered His 2 Children, Ages 5 and 3, Who were Found Tucked into Bed: ‘I Would Do It Again’

Adam Price was found guilty Thursday for murdering both his children in 2021

Gofundme Emi, Mary, and Teddy Nielsen
Gofundme Emi, Mary, and Teddy Nielsen

A Nebraska father has been found guilty of suffocating his two children to death and fleeing the state in 2021.

Adam Price, 38, was on trial last month for killing his daughter Emily, 5, and his son Theodore, 3, at his home before driving away to California.

Price was convicted of both first-degree murder charges, according to local WOWT, but the state attorney’s office told the outlet they will not seek the death penalty. Nebraska law states that someone convicted of a first-degree murder charge will receive a mandatory life sentence.

The outlet reports that a jury found Price guilty shortly after closing arguments ended on Thursday morning.

Prosecutors reportedly laid out a case against Price that alleged he premeditated the murders of his two young children and later admitted to their killings twice to two different priests when he was on the run in California.

"Emi and Teddy were some of the sweetest most loving children and did not deserve to leave the earth this way," Nichole Nielsen, a family friend, wrote in a GoFundMe set up at the time, helping the children's mother raise $42,200 to cover funeral expenses.

Related: 2 Siblings, 5 and 3, Are Found Dead in Father's Nebraska Home, and Dad Is Detained in California

<p>Sarpy County Sheriff's Department via AP</p> Adam Price

Sarpy County Sheriff's Department via AP

Adam Price

Investigators said Price took out $1,500 from two separate ATMs before his children’s murders and that he took his trash and recycling out a day early. Subsequently, he avoided texts from the kids’ mother in Illinois who was asking about them.

The children’s mother had asked local police in Bellevue, Neb., to check on her children after she became worried, PEOPLE previously reported. Police in California located Price hours after his children were found dead back in Nebraska, arresting him and charging him with their murders.

WOWT previously reported that Price told detectives his decision to murder his children “was not a spur of the moment thing.” When asked if he “could see doing the day over again,” Price told a Bellevue detective, “I would do it again.”

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Two different priests testified during Price’s trial, according to the outlet. Both told the court that Price had come to them and confessed to murdering his children. Price’s defense attorneys argued during the four-day trial that the father was in crisis, according to WOWT, and that his marriage was falling apart so he decided to drive to California and leave his kids behind.

However, the argument didn't sway the jury, who found him guilty on both counts Thursday.

“The testimony of the priest was definitely a big part of it,” juror Diana Thomas told WOWT. “But then just all the evidence put together, just the things he did beforehand--going to the bank, putting out the trash early, and then leaving. It pretty much felt like there really wasn’t another person that possibly could have done it.”

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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