James Pak, center, is led into York County Superior Court in Alfred on Feb. 3, 2016. Pak, who was sentenced to life in prison for the murders of teenagers Derrick Thompson and Alivia Welch in 2012, died Saturday, according to the Maine Department of Corrections. He was 86. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

A Biddeford landlord who was serving a life sentence for killing two teenage tenants has died in prison.

James Earl Pak, 86, died just before 5 a.m. Saturday in Mountain View Correctional Facility in Charleston, according to the Maine Department of Corrections.

The department said Pak was attended by medical personnel when he died but released no other details about his death.

Derrick Thompson, 19, and Alivia Welch, 18, were killed by James Pak in 2012. Family photo

Pak began serving a life sentence in 2016 for two counts of murder for the 2012 killings of 19-year-old Derrick Thompson and 18-year-old Alivia Welch. Pak shot the young couple to death after arguing over how many cars they could park in the driveway at the apartment they rented from him.

Pak was angry and was evicting the victims because Welch had moved in with Thompson and his mother, Susan Johnson.

Pak also shot Thompson’s mother in her back and arm. She survived the attack and eventually recovered from her injuries, but only after she lay under their Christmas tree pretending to be dead while Pak used a .357 Magnum to kill her son and his girlfriend.


Thompson’s mother, who now goes by Susan Stevens, and Welch’s mother, Jocelyn Welch, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Biddeford, its police department and one of its officers for their response to a 911 call that Thompson made to complain that Pak was threatening them. That lawsuit was dismissed multiple times, most recently in February by a federal appeals court.

Thompson told a 911 dispatcher that Pak had made threatening hand gestures at him in the shape of a gun.

When the officer, Edward Dexter, arrived and spoke with Pak, the landlord made a number of violent threats against his tenants, which were all recorded via police-worn body cameras, according to court records. At one point, Pak told Dexter there was going to be a “bloody mess.”

The officer urged the young couple to stay away from Pak but told them the dispute was ultimately a civil one that he had no control over. Minutes later, Pak walked into the Thompsons’ apartment and shot them.

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