December 31, 2012

Affidavit provides details in Biddeford double slaying

By David Hench dhench@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

and Scott Dolan sdolan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Susan Johnson was shot twice, in the arm and in the back, and was hiding behind a Christmas tree in her Biddeford apartment, left for dead, while her landlord fatally shot her son and his girlfriend, police revealed Monday.

click image to enlarge

James Pak, center, appears in York County Superior Court in Alfred on Monday to face charges of fatally shooting Derrick Thompson, 19, and Alivia Welch, 18, on Monday in Biddeford. With Pak is his attorney, Joel Vincent, right.

Portland Press Herald photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

click image to enlarge

Derrick Thompson, 19, left, and Alivia Welch, 18, were killed Monday in Biddeford.

Facebook photo

The landlord, James Pak, 74 years old according to state police, had confronted the tenants angrily Saturday night at 17 Sokokis Road in Biddeford in a dispute about a parking place after a weekend snowstorm.

Biddeford police had responded to a call earlier that evening from one of the tenants, who told police Pak had threatened them. The officers left after the tenants said they did not believe they were in danger; but minutes later, Pak entered the apartment and threatened to shoot Johnson, according to an affidavit filed by state police Detective Corey Pike in support of Pak's arrest.

Pak -- who police say had been drinking -- shot Johnson twice, then fired two shots each into Johnson's son, Derrick Thompson, 19, and his girlfriend, Alivia Welch, 18, police said. Both died of gunshot wounds to the chest, accoding to the Office of the State Medical Examiner.

Johnson told police she "heard Welch scream, 'Don't shoot; stop,' and then heard two more gunshots," according to the affidavit.

Pak spoke "freely" to police after his arrest, telling them he had killed three people. He was apparently unaware that Johnson was alive. He said he "spared" the life of Johnson's other son, 7-year-old Brayden, who was also in the apartment, according to the affidavit.

Johnson told police that Pak used a silver-colored handgun with a white handle. Police found a Smith and Wesson revolver in a downstairs bathroom with the hammer still cocked back and red-brown stains on it, the affidavit says. They also found a rifle and shotgun in a basement crawl space.

More than two hours after Pak's arrest, his blood-alcohol content level was 0.15, nearly twice the legal limit, the affidavit says.

Pak, who owns the house on Sokolis Road and also lives there, appeared Monday in York County Superior Court to face two counts of murder. He appeared before Justice Paul Fritzsche with his attorney, Joel Vincent.

Dressed in a blue jacket, the 5-foot, 4-inch, 160-pound Pak was silent in court. He is due in court again March 22, unless he is indicted before then.

Pak was not required to enter a plea. If convicted, he faces 25 years to life in prison. He is being held without bail at York County Jail pending a hearing to determine whether he can be held until trial.

Although state police and jail officials list Pak's age as 74, his driver's license and prior police contacts list his age at 67. Authorities could not explain the discrepancy.

Other details about the events of Saturday night also came to light Monday.

Derrick Thompson apparently initially called Biddeford police at 6:07 p.m. Saturday to report that Pak was banging on his door, yelling and threatening him. Johnson recorded the confrontation between Thompson and Pak on her cellphone before police arrived.

Officers Edward Dexter and Jacob Wolterbeek responded to the initial call and determined it was a civil dispute, apparently about the number of cars parked in the driveway and late rent.

"Thompson told Officer Dexter that Pak got in his face and told Thompson to hit him," the affidavit said. "Thompson told Officer Dexter that Pak claimed he was going to shoot them and made a hand motion in front of them."

"Thompson told Officer Dexter he was not fearful and did not believe that Pak would do anything that he claimed," the affidavit said.

(Continued on page 2)

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