In 1978, Robert Buli, 16, planned the murder of his former girlfriend with a friend. Buli and John Lekka carried out the brutal crime in Middletown Township against Diane Goeke, 17.
As of Monday, both men Buli, 55, and Lekka, 56, decided in October, will remain in state prison for their actions as teenagers.
Juveniles with life sentences were given new hearings this year, due to an unconstitutional ruling in the PA Supreme Court. Buli is the third of six inmates in Bucks County to be re-sentenced.
He will spend 48 years to life in state prison, while his accomplice faces 46 years to life.
Bucks County Common Pleas Court Judge Rea Boylan credited Buli for rehabilitating himself and said she no longer considered him a risk to the community.
However, Boylan said, “this was an incredibly brutal murder,” which, “involved great suffering for the victim.”
On Nov. 13, 1978, Buli and Lekka beat Goeke with a two-by-four board and metal pipes then left her for dead in a shallow fort by their homes in Levittown. They returned hours later, found her still alive, and crushed her head with a 220-pound piece of concrete.
Goeke’s body was found the next day by children gathering leaves from a nearby school.
Two months before the murder, Goeke had given birth to Buli’s child and gave it up for adoption. Buli was severely punished by his parents and forbidden from seeing her.
Buli believed Goeke was pregnant again in Nov. and hatched the plan to murder her with Lekka.
Bulli said in court he will, “never forget how many innocent lives were affected by what I did. The ripple effect of my destructive behavior that night reaches far and wide and spans over decades.”
Judge Boylan accepted the terms of the agreement and vacated Buli’s life sentence. She imposed the new sentence, which includes a concurrent five to 10 years for conspiracy.