Cosmo DiNardo, who is serving four life sentences for the deaths of four young men, pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm illegally in an unrelated case Thursday morning.
DiNardo, 21, of Bensalem, appeared before Bucks County President Judge Jeffrey Finley via video from State Correctional Institution Retreat in Luzerne County. He wore a dark red jumpsuit and was respectful to the judge.
As part of a plea deal negotiated between DiNardo’s defense team and prosecutors, the 21-year-old agreed to admit to possession of a firearm while prohibited in exchange for a probation sentence.
The charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.
Finley agreed to the deal and sentenced DiNardo to five years of supervised probation. Although, he noted, that DiNardo will likely never leave prison due to his four life sentences.
The plea deal means DiNardo has limited avenues for appeal in the gun case.
Bensalem police found DiNardo on Thursday, February 9, 2017, on Wayland Circle as he had a Savage Arms 20-gauge shotgun and ammunition. They were aware he was “suffering from mental illness” and admitted to being previously involuntarily committed, which would bar him from possessing a firearm.
“This is an offense I always found to be a very serious violation of law,” the judge said.
The incident took place months before DiNardo was involved in the July 2017 deaths of Dean Finocchiaro, 19, of Middletown; Thomas Meo, 21, of Plumstead Township; and Mark Sturgis, 22, of Pennsburg, Montgomery County. DiNardo also killed Jimi Patrick, 19, of Newtown Township, at the DiNardo family farm in Solebury.
NewtownPANow.com learned of DiNardo’s February 2017 gun case while reporting on the investigating into the disappearance of the four men. At the time, the case had been dismissed in late May 2017 for an unknown reason. However, there were indications the issue was with paperwork relating to the involuntary commitment that blocked DiNardo from possessing any firearm.
As DiNardo became a suspect in the summer killings that captured the nation’s attention, the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office had Bensalem police refile the prohibited firearms charges.
At the Bucks County Justice Center in Doylestown on Thursday, attorney Michael Parlow said DiNardo has been receiving good care at State Correctional Institution Retreat and has no misconduct violations.
A grumble came from the portion of the courtroom where members of the four young men’s families when the attorney made his comments.
Medium-security State Correctional Institution Retreat is operated by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and offers inmates a number of therapeutic programs on its campus.
Sean Kratz, 21, is DiNardo’s co-defendant and cousin. He is awaiting a 2019 trial for his role in the summer deaths of three of the young men. Kratz rejected a plea deal earlier this year while DiNardo took one in the case.
DiNardo still faces civil cases that are ahead of him related to the death of the four young men.