Guilty Plea in Murder of Philadelphia Store Owner: A Tragic Christmas Eve Shooting

27 November 2023

Maurice Green pleads guilty to third-degree murder in the shooting death of 81-year-old Marie Buck, a beloved corner store owner in south Philadelphia.

In a heartbreaking case that has haunted the city for nearly seven years, Maurice Green has pleaded guilty to third-degree murder in the shooting death of Marie Buck, the 81-year-old owner of Marie’s Grocery. The incident, which occurred on Christmas Eve in 2016, shocked the community and left Buck’s family devastated. Green, who was sentenced to serve from 24 to 40 years in state prison, expressed remorse and apologized to the family in court. The tragic circumstances surrounding this case have shed light on the senseless violence that plagues some neighborhoods in Philadelphia.

A Fight Over a Necklace Turns Deadly

According to prosecutor Joanne Pescatore, Green intended to kill another person whom he blamed for the theft of his $5,500 gold chain. However, that person was not present in the store on the morning of the shooting. Instead, Marie Buck, an unarmed and helpless 81-year-old woman, became the victim of Green’s violent act. The motive behind the shooting, a dispute over a necklace, is both shocking and incomprehensible.

A Community Mourns the Loss of a Beloved Store Owner

Marie Buck was not just a store owner; she was a pillar of the community. Having run Marie’s Grocery for over 40 years, she had become a familiar face to generations of residents. Her store was not just a place to buy essentials; it was a gathering spot where neighbors would catch up and share stories. Buck’s tragic death has left a void in the community, and her absence is deeply felt.

A Lengthy Legal Battle

The road to justice has been long and arduous for Marie Buck’s family. Green’s first trial in 2019 ended in a hung jury, but he was later convicted of first-degree murder in a retrial. However, in 2021, an appeals court overturned the verdict, citing the trial judge’s error in allowing evidence of a previous crime for which Green was never arrested or convicted. The legal proceedings have caused additional pain for Buck’s family, who simply want closure and to move forward.

Drugs and Violence in Philadelphia

Prosecutor Joanne Pescatore described this case as “a sad commentary on drugs in this city.” The tragic events surrounding Marie Buck’s murder highlight the devastating consequences of drug-related violence. Philadelphia, like many other cities across the country, grapples with the intersection of drugs and crime, leaving communities shattered and families torn apart.

Remembrance and Healing

During the court proceedings, Maurice Green expressed remorse and apologized to Marie Buck’s family. He shared his deep regret and spoke of the haunting presence of Buck in his thoughts. Buck’s daughter, Marie, who lives just two doors down from the former store, expressed her grief and the immense void left by her mother’s absence. The family, along with the community, now seeks closure and healing after this tragic chapter.

Conclusion: The guilty plea of Maurice Green in the murder of Marie Buck brings a measure of closure to a case that has haunted Philadelphia for years. The tragic circumstances surrounding Buck’s death serve as a stark reminder of the senseless violence that can occur in our communities. As the city continues to grapple with the impact of drugs and crime, it is crucial to address the root causes and work towards creating safer neighborhoods for all. The memory of Marie Buck will live on in the hearts of those who knew and loved her, and her tragic story serves as a call to action to prevent further loss and devastation.

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