January 22, 2019
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A second mother is suing Biddeford police over 2012 murder

Submitted photo | BDN
Submitted photo | BDN
Derrick Thompson, left, and Alivia Welch appear in this submitted file photo. Thompson and Welch were murdered by their landlord, James Pak, in 2012. Following on the heels of a similar lawsuit by Thompson's mother, Welch's mother has sued the city of Biddeford, its police chief and two officers, who she claims failed to do their jobs in the lead-up to the crime.

A second mother is suing Biddeford police for their alleged negligence in the run-up to a landlord murdering his two young tenants six years ago.

Jocelyne Welch has sued the city of Biddeford, its police chief and two officers, who she claims failed to do their jobs in the lead-up to James Pak shooting her daughter, Alivia Welch.

Pak is serving two life sentences for killing Welch, 18, and her 19-year-old boyfriend, Derrick Thompson, over a 2012 disagreement about snow removal and parking at the apartment they were renting from him. The landlord also wounded Thompson’s mother, Susan Johnson, in the shooting.

[Biddeford landlord pleads guilty to killing two teens]

With the case filed in federal court last week, Welch is seeking a jury trial and unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. Her suit follows on the heels of a similar legal complaint brought by Johnson last summer, in which she alleged that Biddeford police failed to search Pak’s apartment for a gun after he threatened to shoot his tenants.

Likewise, Welch’s lawsuit names Biddeford police officers Edward Dexter and Jacob Wolterbeck as defendants, claiming that they witnessed and were told about Pak threatening to shoot the young couple but left minutes before he did so.

[Mother shot by Biddeford landlord in parking dispute sues police]

In December 2012, the two officers responded to a call at a home Pak owned. The landlord told Dexter that he “would like to shoot” Thompson, the suit states, but the officers allegedly failed to de-escalate the situation and both departed within 40 minutes. Five minutes after they left, the deadly shooting was called in to the police, according to the suit.

Welch’s suit also names the city of Biddeford and Police Chief Roger Beaupre, who it says was responsible for training the two officers.

Biddeford City Manager James Bennett did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Welch’s lawyer, Sarah Churchill of Portland, declined to comment.

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