Cops, Courts and Fire

Court Filings Reveal New Details In Sean Kratz Case

Sean Kratz
Credit: Bucks County District Attorney’s Office

Prosecutors and Sean Kratz’s defense team filed a number of motions this week. The most notable revealed more details on Kratz’s past and asked for a change of venue for the trial.

The Bucks County District Attorney’s Office laid out an alleged incident involving Kratz that happened just under 10 months before the murders of four young men on 21-year-old Cosmo DiNardo’s family farm in Solebury. Kratz, who is awaiting trial on three counts of criminal homicide and faces the death penalty, is accused of taking part in three of the mens’ deaths.

In court papers, prosecutors said that Kratz, 21, of Philadelphia, showed a gun in September 2016 to his 9-year-old brother and threatened to “blow his brains out.” He also said he would kill his sister.

Due to the incident, Kratz was involuntarily committed by his mother from September 21 to September 29, 2016 at Friends Hospital in Philadelphia. Prosecutors said he was committed for “violent tendencies.”

The defense moved to block “prior bad acts” by Kratz into court. It noted that it may include evidence of Kratz being involved in a 2016 shooting. has confirmed through sources that Kratz was also eyed as playing a role in a November 2016 Philadelphia shooting that left a man badly injured. Philadelphia and Bucks County authorities have not commented on the incident.

Kratz was shot 19 times in March 2017 while in Northeast Philadelphia. At the time of his arrest for his alleged role in the Solebury homicides, he walked with a limp due to his injuries from the March shooting.

In another motion, attorney Keith Williams, who is part of the team representing Kratz following the ouster of Craig Penglase, asked for a new agency to handle prosecution and change the venue. Williams noted the intense coverage by news organizations, release of DiNardo’s confession earlier this year, and statements by prosecutors make a fair trial in Bucks County impossible.

“It is clear that under the circumstances that a fair and impartial trial cannot be otherwise had in Bucks County due to adverse and extensive publicity,” Williams wrote, adding the county prosecutors are “personally and improperly involved.”

Williams also makes the case that the fact that Kratz’s negotiated plea deal was rejected in May has caused the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office to have a “personal vendetta” against the defendant.

The defense filed court papers stating they have Kratz’s medical records and recordings of his prison phone calls from July 2017 to July 5, 2018.

Prosecutors noted they anticipate Kratz’s defense team to make the case he had no knowledge DiNardo, his cousin, was on a crime spree. They also expect attorneys to say Kratz did not have the motive to commit crimes, made a mistake or accident in which he was a “‘pawn’ in Cosmo DiNardo’s scheme and that he was a defenseless individual.”

Another new tidbit from the case came in paperwork filed by prosecutors that stated they have Kratz’s phone records and had recently been able to reveal of the contents of victim Dean Finocchiaro’s cell phone. They stated the information on Finocchiaro’s phone was revealed due to “new technology.”

The defense team also filed motions to try to block pieces of evidence relating to interviews with Kratz by police in April and last year in Philadelphia.

As of Friday, Kratz’s trial has been scheduled for Wednesday, November 7.

The Bucks County District Attorney’s Office and the defense team have been barred from speaking to the media due to a gag order.

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