The Michael Buck murder case was resolved today with a guilty plea to one charge of manslaughter in the first degree, a class B felony.
“I just think that for everybody concerned ... (it's) a very good and just outcome,” said Otsego County District Attorney John Muehl.
Buck pleaded guilty in Otsego County court to the manslaughter charge. Under the plea agreement, he will be sentenced to 20 years in prison, followed by five years of post-release supervision. Because Buck is set to receive a determinate sentence, he will not be eligible for parole until he has served at least seven-eighths of his sentence. Buck is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 4.
Buck had been indicted on one charge of second-degree murder, one charge of first-degree assault, one charge of criminal use of a firearm in the first degree and two counts of third-degree criminal weapons possession.
Had Buck been convicted of second-degree murder, he could have been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
The charges against Buck stem from an incident in the early-morning hours of Sept. 21 at the Middlefield home that Buck, then 33, shared with his father, Joseph Buck, 64. The incident left Joseph Buck dead, and Michael Buck with a gunshot wound to his left cheek.
In details released today about the incident by Muehl, Muehl said that Michael Buck argued with Joseph Buck, which then escalated into Buck firing a handgun at his father. His father then got a handgun and fired a shot at his son, and the shooting continued.
“He just said that they argued,” said Muehl, when asked if any details about the argument were known. “He never told the police or us what it was about.”