Cops, Courts and Fire

Lawsuits Against Cosmo DiNardo & Parents By Murder Victims’ Families Settled

The lawsuits close one chapter in one of the county’s most high-profile homicide cases.

Cosmo DiNardo being led to a sheriff’s office van in Doylestown last summer.
Credit: Jason Wood

The families of four young men who lost their lives due to Cosmo DiNardo in 2017 recently reached settlements in their lawsuits against DiNardo and his parents.

The terms of the settlements in the wrongful-death lawsuits against the DiNardos, of Bensalem Township, were confidential, according to filings in Philadelphia court.

The Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas docket for the case said a settlement was reached in early May. Judge Marlene Lachman approved the settlement last week.

The news of the settlement was broken Thursday by The Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Vinny Vella.

The lawsuits filed by the families of the victims said DiNardo’s parents, Sandra and Antonio DiNardo, failed to take actions to prevent the troubled man from accessing firearms and other tools used in the July 2017 killings of the four young men. The 20-year-old was barred from legally possessing a firearm at the time of the homicides.

Lawsuits filed against the DiNardo family said their son was “unsuitable, unstable and potentially highly dangerous.”

Cosmo DiNardo was sentenced to four life terms in prison for the murders and DiNardo’s cousin, Sean Kratz, was sentenced to life in prison for his involvement in three men’s deaths.

DiNardo and Kratz were behind the killings of Jimi Patrick, 19, of Newtown Township; Dean Finocchiaro, 19, of Middletown; Thomas Meo, 21, of Plumstead Township; and Mark Sturgis, 22, of Pennsburg, Montgomery County, at the DiNardo family’s 68-acre Solebury Township farm.

The four victims.

Tom Kline, a high-profile city attorney, represented the Finochiarro family. He said the end of the lawsuit will bring closure for the family.

“The end of civil lawsuit brings a measure of closure to the Finochiarro and all of the families impacted this tragedy, which sadly and tragically resulted in so much suffering and loss,” he said.

Carin O’Donnell, the attorney for the Patricks, said the end of the lawsuit does bring one chapter of the tragedy to a closure.

“This tragedy has brought pain, not only, to all of those involved but also, to our Bucks County Community. The Patricks and the other families now have a piece of closure to hopefully allow everyone to start healing in some respects. These boys, and this incident, however, will never be forgotten,” she said.

Families arriving at the scene in Solebury Township in July 2017.
Credit: Tom Sofield/

Attorneys for the other families and the DiNardos didn’t comment.

The search for the four young men gripped the attention of the region and nation. Two TV true-crime documentaries on the case have aired.

In court papers, authorities said DiNardo shot Patrick first with a rifle on July 5 and buried his body on a remote portion of the farm that featured woods and rough terrain. Later in the week, Finocchiaro was lured to the property and Cosmo DiNardo and Kratz killed him. Hours later, the two men killed Meo and Mark Sturgis, 22, of Pennsburg, Montgomery County, using a backhoe to run over Meo’s body.

Finocchiaro, Meo, and Sturgis’ bodies were then loaded in a pig roaster and a fire was set. The fire did not burn the bodies. Patrick’s body was found on a separate part of the property, authorities said.

After leaving the farm to get cheesesteaks in Philadelphia, Cosmo DiNardo and Kratz returned the next day and buried the bodies of the three young men about 12 feet underground near a large field, officials said.

The young mens’ bodies were found after a wide-ranging search that involved law enforcement from around the region.

About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for 12 years for both newspaper and online publications. Tom’s reporting has appeared locally, nationally, and internationally across several mediums. He is proud to report on news in the county where he lives and to have created a reliable publication that the community deserves.