Friday, 28 June 2019 10:55

Man Pleads Guilty in Homicide of Vulnerable Adult

June 28, 2019 – A Frayser man pled guilty Thursday to second-degree murder in the 2015 death of an elderly man whom he left beaten and bound with duct tape and rope for several days without food or water, said Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich.
Defendant James Buchanan, 47, also pled guilty to especially aggravated kidnapping and received two concurrent sentences of 25 years in prison without the possibility for parole by Criminal Court Judge Lee Coffee.
On Dec. 31, 2015, a neighbor found 78-year-old Paul Maher in the bedroom of his home in the 3900 block of Print unable to move or speak. His hands and feet were bound, and he had multiple bruises.
Maher was taken to a hospital where he died the next day from his injuries and from lack of food and water for several days.    Buchanan had done yardwork for Maher and knew the elderly victim lived alone and was vulnerable, investigators said. The victim had been in a nursing home earlier in the year.
Charges against Buchanan’s wife and son for their roles in the case are pending.
The case was handled by Chief Prosecutor Eric Christensen and Asst. Dist. Atty. Leslie Fouche of the DA’s Special Victims Unit (SVU) which prosecutes cases of child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse of child victims; rape and aggravated rape of adult victims, and abuse of elderly and vulnerable adults.
The Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference partners with the Tennessee Department of Human Services and Tennessee Voices for Victims in a public education initiative encouraging Tennesseans to talk about elder abuse.
The effort - headlined “Tennessee Is Talking About Elder Abuse” - uses testimonials to encourage community dialogue and, ultimately, to increase reporting of abusive situations.
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