Tuesday, May 21, 2013
The Biddeford City Council is expected to vote Tuesday on whether to seize the dilapidated former home of convicted murderer Rory Holland and demolish it.
A July 2009 photo of Rory Holland's house at 58 South St. in Biddeford.
Gregory Rec / Staff Photographer
Rory Holland at his sentencing hearing at York County Superior Court in Alfred on February 7, 2011. Holland was sentenced to life in prison for murdering Derek and Gage Greene in Biddeford on June 30, 2009.
The house at 58 South St. is in "terrible, terrible shape," said City Manager John Bubier. The city wants to take the property by eminent domain as it works to improve emergency vehicle access to Williams Court Park, created in 2011.
The house, at South and Green streets, has long been associated with Holland, who was a controversial figure in the city even before he shot and killed brothers Derek and Gage Greene on June 29, 2009.
He was convicted of two counts of murder in late 2010 and sentenced in February 2011 to two concurrent life sentences in prison.
The murders happened on the sidewalk and street in front of the house. After the shooting, Holland retreated into his house for several hours before he was taken into custody.
During Holland's trial, police officers and crime scene technicians described the interior of the house as run-down, cluttered and without electricity or running water.
Later in the trial, Joseph Donegan of Arundel, who saw Holland hours before the murders, testified that Holland complained about a hole in his home's roof and having to burn wood on the floor for heat.
After the murders, Holland's house was vandalized, messages were spray-painted on the fence, and windows were broken.
Bubier said the house has continued to deteriorate in the three years since then and is now a fire hazard.
"It's time" to address the property, Bubier said. "It just makes sense at this point."
A call to Holland's attorney was not returned Friday afternoon.
The neighboring house, at 56 South St., owned previously by Janice Appel but associated with Holland because he used the property, was used last spring for fire training.
The City Council voted unanimously in April to use the Appel property as access to Williams Court Park. Linda Hardacker, community development coordinator for Biddeford, said the building at 56 South St. will be demolished after a study of possible issues, such as asbestos.
After the building is demolished, the city will develop plans for providing better access into the park, Hardacker said.
Staff Writer Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at: