Ex-Rutlander charged in Maine slayings due in court
The Portland Press Herald | December 31,2012
BIDDEFORD — James Pak, the 74-year-old Biddeford man scheduled to appear in York County Superior Court this afternoon on murder charges, had to be disabled with a Taser when police took him into custody Saturday night.
Biddeford Police Chief Roger Beaupre said that following a three-hour negotiation with a Biddeford officer, Pak agreed to leave his house at 17 Sokokis Road. But when he emerged from the house, he refused to comply with officers' commands and they could not be sure he was not still armed.
One of the officers disabled him with a Taser, the first discharge of the electronic stun devices since the department acquired them in October, Beaupre said.
Pak, who moved to Maine from Rutland, Vt., about six years ago, faces charges of fatally shooting Derrick Thompson, 19, and Alivia Welch, 18, who were his tenants. Pak also is accused of shooting Thompson's mother, Susan Johnson, 44, also a tenant.
She survived and was escorted from the apartment to a waiting ambulance by a Biddeford officer at the outset of the standoff, Beaupre said.
Johnson was taken to Maine Medical Center but a hospital spokeswoman said Monday she is not listed as a patient. A State police spokesman said he did not know her whereabouts or whether she had been discharged, but said she was still alive.
Johnson's 7-year-old son, Brayden, hid in a bedroom during the shooting and was not injured.
Biddeford police were initially called to the house by one of the tenants complaining that Pak was banging on the door. Police left 43 minutes later after determining that the tenants did not feel threatened.
Less than four minutes later, police were called back to the resident by Johnson reporting the shooting.
Pak has no criminal record in Maine, according to the State Bureau of Identification.
Pak owns the two-unit house where the Saturday shootings took place and lives in the main building.
Pak was arrested in his driveway about 10 p.m. Saturday.
State police said Sunday a dispute over parking in one of the home's two driveways during a snowstorm may have led to the shooting.
Friends of Thompson and Welch will hold a candlelight vigil at 6:30 p.m. today at Clifford Park in Biddeford.
Welch graduated from Thornton Academy in Saco last June and was a nursing student at Southern Maine Community College. Thompson, who attended Biddeford High School, worked as a car detailer at Patriot Subaru in Saco.
Thompson's family moved into the Sokokis Road house in October. Welch had been staying there for about a month, according to police.