Maine landlord who killed tenants gets life in prison

A Maine landlord who admitted killing two tenants following a dispute over parking spots after a snowstorm was sentenced Thursday to life in prison.

A judge imposed Maine's maximum penalty on James Pak, 77, who pleaded guilty to murder last week. Pak shot and killed Derrick Thompson, 19, and Alivia Welch, 18, in Biddeford in December 2012. He also shot Thompson's mother, Susan Johnson. She survived.

Pak showed little emotion during his sentencing, and did not turn his head to look at photos of Thompson and Welch that a projector displayed in court.

The dispute that led to the deaths was over snow shoveling and parking, investigators said. Police were called to intervene, and Pak waited for officers to leave before he began shooting. Court documents indicated he barged into the tenants' apartment saying, "I am going to shoot you all."

Thompson's mother said Thursday she'll never get to see her son grow up or raise children, the Portland Press Herald ( ) reported. Welch's father, Dan, remembered Welch as a "perfect daughter" whose best days were ahead.

Family members said they were satisfied with the sentence after the two-hour hearing in York County Superior Court.

The shootings happened after Pak and Thompson argued because Pak didn't like the way Thompson was shoveling the driveway, prosecutor Leanne Zainea said.

Pak had originally planned to use an insanity defense. He was a longtime Vermont resident who moved to Biddeford about 10 years ago to open a landscape company.


Information from: Portland Press Herald,