Memphis man pleads guilty in 78-year-old’s murder

James Buchanan

MEMPHIS, Tenn. —  A Memphis man pleaded guilty to charges in connection to the shocking death of a 78-year-old man nearly four years ago.

According to police, a neighbor discovered Paul Maher bound with duct tape and rope inside his Print Avenue home on December 31, 2015. He had been beaten and appeared to have been denied food and water for several days. Maher was rushed to the hospital where he died a day later from his injuries.

Investigators eventually determined that James Buchanan, 47, was a suspect in this case. They said he had been hired by Maher to do some yard work and that Buchanan knew the victim lived alone and was vulnerable.

In June 2017, WREG reported a possible motive in the case. Buchanan reportedly confessed at some point to breaking into the home and assaulting the victim before stealing the man’s car, weapons and cash.

On June 27, James Buchanan pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and especially aggravated kidnapping charges. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison without the possibility of parole.

Buchanan’s wife Lisa Buchanan and their son Steven Buchanan were also connected to the crime, police said.

Their cases are pending.

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