DiNardo's cousin turns down plea deal, case heads to trial

  • DiNardo's cousin turns down plea deal, case heads to trial

DiNardo's cousin turns down plea deal, case heads to trial

DiNardo lured the men onto the farm by promising to sell them a large amount of marijuana, authorities said.

The bodies of three victims - Dean Finocchiaro, 19, of Middletown Township; Mark Sturgis, 22, of Pennsburg; and Thomas Meo, 21, of Plumstead Township - were found in a common grave at DiNardo's family's farm in Solebury Township in July 2017. Some sobbed loudly as a prosecutor read the facts of the case.

DiNardo was expressionless as he pleaded guilty to charges including first-degree murder, conspiracy, robbery and abuse of a corpse.

Just a few months ago, the families of three of the victims, Finocchiaro, Meo and Patrick, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against DiNardo, his parents and his cousin.

"To you, human lives are disposable", Decide Jeffrey Finley informed DiNardo. Potash said. "You've lived your whole life protected". They have no value.

Cosmo DiNardo faces life in prison under the terms of the deal reached Wednesday.

The victims' relatives also unleashed messages of pain and anger.

Melissa Fratanduono, the mother of Tom Meo, cursed at DiNardo during the sentencing, saying it has "taken everything" for her not to kill him herself. "And I promise you, it won't look like you".

Mark Sturgis' mom said the pain has not subsided.

Kratz, however, shocked the courtroom and rejected the plea offer.

All of the men were shot and buried. DiNardo's plea spared him from facing the death penalty, according to NBC10.

As part of his deal with prosecutors, DiNardo identified his cousin Sean Kratz, 21, of Philadelphia, as a co-conspirator in three of the murders.

Kratz, also 21, faces a pretrial hearing Wednesday afternoon where he is expected to plead guilty. DiNardo was charged with killing Patrick, but Kratz was not.

Authorities said he was the mastermind of the killings on his family's 90-acre farm in Solebury Township, located about 30 miles north of Philadelphia and charged him in all four deaths.

"We're going to seek the death penalty against him, make no mistake about it", said Weintraub.

Kratz had described the murders to police when he was arrested - telling them it was a "massacre".

During the emotional two-hour hearing, Finley heard victim impact statements from a dozen family members of the four slain men, all of them expressing inconsolable grief at the loss of their young sons, brothers and nephews. The families say DiNardo's parents shouldn't have allowed him access to a gun, which was barred by law due to his commitment. Bensalem Police said officers had encountered DiNardo 40 times, 14 of which came in the year before the killings.

DiNardo has a historical past of psychological sickness, together with an involuntary dedication and a schizophrenia analysis, however his lawyer stated psychological well being professionals weren't certain they might have introduced an madness protection.