DA: Maine man who shot family kept gun on bedpost

By the Associated Press | June 14, 2011 | 10:15 AM EDT

The Dexter, Maine house where a man allegedly killed his estranged wife and two children before killing himself is shown Monday, June 13, 2011. Police say four bodies were found inside the central Maine home, hours after gunshots were reported fired. (AP Photo/Glenn Adams)

DEXTER, Maine (AP) — A prosecutor in Maine says a man who shot to death his two children and estranged wife before killing himself kept a holstered 9mm handgun on his bedpost and once threatened to take a knife to his wife and do things "you wouldn't do to a farm animal."

Police say 37-year-old Steven Lake killed 38-year-old Amy Lake and their two children, 12-year-old Monica and 13-year-old Cote, at her home in Dexter on Monday.

District Attorney Christopher Almy says Lake was scheduled to go to trial next month for allegedly threatening his wife and children last year. Almy said Lake held his wife and kids in a bedroom while holding his handgun, then told his wife he'd use a knife on her if he had to.