PAPILLION, Neb. (AP) _ A father who prosecutors and defenders said just wanted ``to be cool'' was found guilty today of repeatedly injecting his daughter and two of her teen-age friends with methamphetamine.

Dennis Avery, 50, could get up to 95 years in prison for three counts of child abuse, three counts of drug distribution and one count of drug possession.

In a tense courtroom packed with about 40 people, including the girls and their parents, Sarpy County District Judge William Zastera announced the verdict and set sentencing for June 2.

Prosecutor Tricia Freeman said Avery was trying to get close to his daughter, now 16, and two friends aged 16 and 17, injecting them with the drug from fall 1998 to last October.

``He just kind of wanted to be popular with the kids,'' she said in her closing argument. ``He wanted to be cool.''

Defense attorneys argued there was no proof Avery injected the girls with the drug. The girls could testify knowledgeably because they saw Avery use it, said defense attorney Gregory Pivovar.

``Dennis Avery is a cool dad who tried to be a cool guy,'' Pivovar said in closing arguments Thursday. ``He tried to impress them with the fact that he did meth. You see it once and you know how it's done.''

Freeman said Avery injected two of the girls 20 to 30 times, and one possibly 75 times, with ``crank,'' a slang term for methamphetamine.

She said he took the girls to buy the drug, bound their right arms with thick rubber bands before injections, showed them how to cook the drug and taught them how to cover up needle marks with make-up.

Pivovar said the teen-agers' testimony was contradictory and could not be trusted.

He admitted Avery was a methamphetamine addict, but said prosecutors failed to prove he gave the drug to the children. Without that proof, Pivovar said, Avery couldn't be convicted of drug distribution or child abuse.

A forensic scientist testified that a vial found in Avery's garage tested positive for methamphetamine. Pivovar said a connection between the vial and any substance injected had not been established.

Two of the girls testified that Avery made sexual advances to them and paged them at school. One said he wrote her love letters and made a collage of her photographs.

Avery was arrested Oct. 18 after the friends' parents called police.