March 4, 2013

State seeks mental evaluation in Biddeford double homicide

Landlord James Pak, 75, has been held in connection with the deaths of two teenagers since December.

By Eric Russell erussell@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

The state has requested a mental health evaluation for a Biddeford man who is charged with killing two teenagers in December.

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An undated booking photo James Pak, 74, of Biddeford, provided by the York County Jail.

AP

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Derrick Thompson, left, and Alivia Welch

Facebook photo

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James Pak, 75, pleaded not guilty Thursday in York County Superior Court to five counts, including two counts of murder.

Police say Pak shot and killed Derrick Thompson, 19, and Alivia Welch, 18, after a dispute over parking. Pak also is charged with shooting Thompson's mother, Susan Johnson, 44, who survived.

Johnson and her son rented an apartment connected to Pak's home, and Welch often stayed there.

Pak has been held without bail since his arrest on Dec. 29. His attorney, Joel Vincent, said Monday that he was only recently provided with evidence from the Attorney General's Office.

Vincent said he wants to review that evidence before deciding whether to oppose the state's request for a mental health evaluation of Pak.

Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea filed the motion requesting what is known as a mental responsibility for criminal conduct evaluation.

The Attorney General's Office does not comment on open cases.

Both sides have 90 days to submit additional motions before Pak's trial is scheduled.

The shooting was reported at 17 Sokokis Road in Biddeford shortly before 7 p.m. on Dec. 29. Police had been at the apartment minutes earlier to investigate a dispute between Pak and Thompson, but left after determining that the argument was a civil matter.

Court documents say Pak waited for police to leave, got a gun, opened the door to the apartment and said, "I am going to shoot you. I am going to shoot you all."

He shot Johnson first, then Thompson, then Welch, court documents say.

Johnson suffered gunshot wounds to the back and arm. She filed a lawsuit in late January seeking at least $1 million in damages from Pak and his wife, Armit Pak, who co-owned the house.

Her lawsuit alleges a history of disputes between Pak and Thompson and Johnson, dating back to when Thompson and Johnson first rented the apartment.

Johnson called 911 after the shootings, but the two teenagers were dead by the time emergency responders arrived.

The Portland Press Herald has sued the state, seeking the transcripts of the 911 calls made that night and 911 transcripts for all open murder investigations. That lawsuit is pending.

Eric Russell can be contacted at 791-6344 or at:

erussell@pressherald.com

Twitter: @PPHEricRussell

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