Pennsylvania cousins plead not guilty in alleged murders of 4 men

Two cousins are charged in the brutal murder of four men in Pennsylvania.

ByBRIANA MONTALVO
December 15, 2017, 6:50 AM

— -- Cosmo DiNardo and Sean Kratz, two cousins charged in the brutal murder of four men in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in July entered not guilty pleas during their arraignment on Thursday.

The 20-year-old men face charges of criminal homicide, abuse of corpse, robbery and conspiracy after the shooting deaths of 19-year-old Dean Finocchiaro, 22-year-old Mark Sturgis, 21-year-old Tom Meo and 19-year-old Jimi Patrick, whose bodies were found buried on a Solebury, Pennsylvania, farm after a five-day search in July.

According to a press release from the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office, DiNardo faces four counts of criminal homicide in the deaths of Patrick, Finocchiaro, Meo and Sturgis, while Kratz has only been charged in the deaths of Finocchiaro, Meo and Sturgis.

Both men remain imprisoned without bail. DiNardo is being held at the Bucks County Correctional Facility, while Kratz is at the Northampton County Prison.

PHOTO: A law enforcement official escorts Cosmo DiNardo to a vehicle, July 13, 2017, in Doylestown, Pa.
A law enforcement official escorts Cosmo DiNardo to a vehicle, July 13, 2017, in Doylestown, Pa.
Matt Rourke/AP

DiNardo confessed to killing the four men as part of a plea deal in July that would allow him to avoid the death penalty. Kratz did not agree to a plea deal.

Prosecutors said that DiNardo’s not guilty plea on Thursday was a procedural decision that would afford him the option to stop cooperating with the investigation in order to maintain his innocence, according to Philadelphia ABC affiliate WPVI. He is still cooperating with police, WPVI said.

Bucks County District Attorney Matthew D. Weintraub filed paperwork this week reserving the right to seek the death penalty against the young men. While Weintraub maintained that he will honor the deal struck between him and DiNardo to avoid the death penalty, he said, “if additional evidence is uncovered, or if he wishes to go to trial, we will be prepared and we will at that time seek the death penalty.”

PHOTO: Sean Kratz of Philadelphia was charged, July 14, 2017, with 20 counts, including three counts of criminal homicide in the July 7, 2017, killings of three Pennsylvania men.
Sean Kratz of Philadelphia was charged, July 14, 2017, with 20 counts, including three counts of criminal homicide in the July 7, 2017, killings of three Pennsylvania men.
AP

The initial agreement made between Weintraub and DiNardo called for the suspect’s admission of guilt, full cooperation in the ongoing investigation and leading authorities to the location of Patrick’s body, which was still missing at the time.

DiNardo faces additional felony charges of theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and illegal possession of firearms, which he was prohibited from using due to previously being involuntarily committed to a mental health treatment center.

Family members of the slain young men expressed their anguish to WPVI on Thursday.

“You get angry, you get sad, you are reliving it over and over,” Mark Potash, Sturgis' father, said.

PHOTO: Bucks County District Attorney's Office photos show L-R, top row: Dean Finocchiaro, 18, Tom Meo, 21, Jimi Patrick, 19 and Mark Sturgis, 22, four men who went missing on a sprawling farm in Bucks County, about 40 miles north of Philadelphia.
Bucks County District Attorney's Office photos show L-R, top row: Dean Finocchiaro, 18, Tom Meo, 21, Jimi Patrick, 19 and Mark Sturgis, 22, as authorities say they are focusing their search for the four missing men on a sprawling farm in Bucks County, about 40 miles north of Philadelphia, on July 11, 2017.
Bucks County District Attorney's Office via AP

“The day of reckoning is coming ... and the family looks forward to that day,” Finocchiaro family attorney Tom Kline said.

When asked by WPVI reporters if he had anything to say, Dinardo simply said, "I'm sorry."

The trial date for Dinardo and Kratz has yet to be confirmed, the case will be prosecuted by First Assistant District Attorney Gregg D. Shore and Deputy District Attorney Kate Kohler.

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