Cops, Courts and Fire

Prosecutors Open Up Death Penalty Possibility In DiNardo, Kratz Cases

Cosmo DiNardo and Sean Kratz
Credit: Bucks County District Attorney’s Office

Prosecutors Wednesday morning filed a notice of aggravating circumstances in the Cosmo DiNardo and Sean Kratz multiple homicide cases.

The notice formally indicates that the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office may seek the death penalty against the two in the case. They listed the aggravating circumstances for their motion that would open the door to a possible capital punishment sentence if the two are convicted of first-degree murder. However, District Attorney Matt Weintraub said via phone Wednesday morning that the filing is standard operating procedure and the previously agreed upon deal that would have DiNardo avoiding capital punishment remains in place.

If circumstances change down the road, the filing would allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty against DiNardo. As of Wednesday morning, the initial agreement and circumstances remain in place, the district attorney stressed.

DiNardo first made a deal with the district attorney’s office after he was eyed as a suspect. He explained to detectives how the killings happened and provided them with other details. In exchange for leading authorities to the four missing men’s bodies, Weintraub talked with the victims’ families and they approved of prosecutors offering the deal.

Comment from defense team was not immediately available.

The news of the deal was first reported by Allentown Morning Call reporter Laurie Mason Schroeder.

DiNardo, 20, of Bensalem, and his cousin Kratz, 20, of Philadelphia, were charged in connection with a killing spree that took place at a large farm in Solebury.

The four young men who lost their lives.

DiNardo was charged in the deaths of Dean Finocchiaro, 19, of Middletown; Thomas Meo, 21, of Plumstead Township; Jimi Taro Patrick, 19, of Newtown Township; and Mark Sturgis, 22, of Pennsburg, Montgomery County. Kratz was only charged for his alleged role in three of the murders.

According to prosecutors, the four young men were killed in July on the 68-acre DiNardo family property in Solebury. Patrick’s body was concealed in a wooded area with rough terrain and the other three men were thrown in a metal container that was converted into a pig roaster before being buried 12 feet underground. Following their disappearance, a massive police investigation took place across Bucks County.

After the murders on the wooded farm, the two men traveled to a cheesesteak place in Philadelphia for a meal, authorities have said.

While DiNardo and Kratz are related, they were not close and a detective testified in summer that they were merely more than acquaintances.

Click here to read past coverage of the case



About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for five years for both newspaper and online publications. In 2012, Tom was honored at the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Foundation's Keystone Press Awards for his coverage of President Obama's visit to Falls Township in 2011. When he's not covering news in the area, Tom enjoys checking out the newest restaurants and bars, exploring forgotten places of industry in the area, going to local parks and spending time with his friends and family. If there's one thing you should know about Tom, he is a local news junkie through and through. Email: Phone: 215-431-1001