Justice Served: Guilty Plea in the Murder of Philadelphia Store Owner

27 November 2023

Maurice Green pleads guilty to third-degree murder in the shooting death of Marie Buck, an 81-year-old corner store owner, after a seven-year legal battle.

In a case that has spanned nearly seven years, justice has finally been served in the murder of Marie Buck, an 81-year-old corner store owner in south Philadelphia. Maurice Green, 38, pleaded guilty to third-degree murder last week and was sentenced to serve from 24 to 40 years in state prison. The crime, which occurred on Christmas Eve in 2016, shocked the community and left Buck’s family devastated. This article delves into the details of the case, the emotional impact on the victim’s family, and the long road to justice.

A Heinous Act of Violence

“To shoot an unarmed, helpless 81-year-old woman … over a fight over a necklace is incomprehensible,” said Common Pleas Judge Glenn Bronson during the sentencing. The court heard that Maurice Green intended to kill another person he believed had stolen his $5,500 gold chain but found Buck alone in her store that fateful morning. The motive for the crime was trivial, yet the consequences were devastating.

Remorse and Reflection

During the court proceedings, Green expressed remorse and offered an apology to Buck’s family. He admitted that he couldn’t bear to look them in the eye and expressed a willingness to do anything to atone for his actions. Green shared memories of growing up near Marie’s Grocery and spoke of buying sandwiches from the store. He described feeling haunted by the memory of Buck, who had dedicated over 40 years of her life to running the store and was only a month away from retirement.

A Long Legal Battle

The road to justice in this case was arduous and marked by legal complexities. In 2019, Green was initially convicted of first-degree murder in a retrial after his first trial ended in a hung jury. He was sentenced to life without parole. However, in 2021, an appeals court overturned the verdict, citing the trial judge’s error in allowing prosecutors to present evidence of a previous crime for which Green had never been arrested or convicted. The retrial and subsequent guilty plea finally brought closure to the victim’s family.

A Sad Commentary on Drugs

Prosecutor Joanne Pescatore described the case as “a sad commentary on drugs in this city.” The circumstances surrounding the murder highlight the devastating impact of drug-related violence on communities. Buck’s family, who had to endure the pain of multiple trials, expressed relief that the legal proceedings were finally over. Their focus now is on healing and remembering the woman they loved.


The guilty plea of Maurice Green in the murder of Marie Buck brings an end to a seven-year legal battle. The tragic and senseless act of violence that took the life of an unarmed 81-year-old woman has left a lasting impact on the victim’s family and the community. The case serves as a stark reminder of the devastating consequences of drug-related violence and the importance of pursuing justice. As the Buck family begins the healing process, they hope that this chapter can finally be closed, allowing them to remember and honor the memory of Marie Buck.

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