BUCKS COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) — In 1979, a 17-year-old pleaded guilty to a brutal murder in Bucks County and was sentenced to life in prison with no parole. But now a re-sentencing hearing following a U.S. Supreme Court decision that declared automatic life sentences for juveniles unconstitutional.
John Lekke pleaded guilty to the murder of 17-year-old Diane Goeke in 1979, agreeing as a 17-year-old to life without parole in exchange for no death penalty.
On day one of his re-sentencing hearing, defense witnesses say Lekke has been a model inmate, saying he’s level-headed, well-respected, easy-going, respectful to other inmates and to prison staff.
But prosecutors point out the crime Lekke took part in was horrific.
In November 1978, the victim was lured into the woods by her boyfriend, Robert Buli. Buli and Lekke beat her, then buried her. When they returned several hours later they found her still alive, so they dropped a large piece of concrete on her head.