Derrick Thompson, left, and Alivia Welch appear. Thompson and Welch were murdered by their landlord, James Pak, in 2012. Credit: Contributed

A federal appeals court will consider whether to proceed with a lawsuit accusing Biddeford police of being partially responsible for the 2012 slaying of two young adults.

James Pak, 83, was convicted of murdering Derrick Thompson, 19, and Alivia Welch, 18, in a tenancy dispute in December 2012.

Thompson and Welch’s mothers’ lawsuit, now before the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, accuses Biddeford police of increasing the danger their children were in by failing to ask whether Pak had had a gun and leaving the scene moments before Pak went into the apartment and shot Thompson, Welch and Thompson’s mother, Susan Stevens, who is one of the lawsuit’s plaintiffs, according to the Portland Press Herald.

The court heard oral arguments Thursday, and will now determine whether the lawsuit can move forward after a federal judge dismissed it last year, Press Herald reported. The defendants are the city of Biddeford, Biddeford Police Department, Biddeford Police Chief Roger Beaupre and the two officers who responded to the apartment building before the Dec. 29, 2012, shooting.

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Lia Russell

Lia Russell is a reporter on the city desk for the Bangor Daily News. Send tips to