July 14, 2017
Trevor Newcomb and Charlotte Reese
Bail is not an option this time for Cosmo DiNardo. Days earlier he dodged prison, on a separate charge, when his father posted a $100,000 check but was brought back on a charge connected to one of the missing Bucks County four men. On July 13, DiNardo admits to participating in a killing spree that started for him on July 5 but ended with accomplice Sean Kratz days later.
Four murders at the same location and the victims lure all stem from a deal.
Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub announced Friday in a 2 p.m. conference that homicide charges had been filed against two men for the disappearances and deaths of four young men.
Cosmo DiNardo, 20, is facing murder charges for each of the four deaths. Sean Kratz, 20 of Philadelphia, is being charged for the deaths of three of the four men.
“We have the two men locked up that need to be brought to justice,” Weintraub said. “I am very, very relieved to say that we brought four young men one step closer to their loved ones.”
First Assistant District Attorney Gregg Shore shared that sentiment following DiNardo’s and Kratz’ arraignments, which occurred by video shortly after Weintraub’s press conference.
“In my career, something of this magnitude, this is unprecedented. For the families who are grieving, the process that they’ve had to go through this week – simply losing a loved one is overwhelming – what they’ve had to do, sitting through 96 painstaking hours at a site where weather conditions were awful at times, to see whether their loved ones were on the ground there have been overwhelming for the families, first and foremost, and for all of us involved,” Shore said.
“Our hope is to minimize their pain going forward through a successful prosecution.”
According to police documents, DiNardo admitted to killings or participating in the murders 19-year-old Jimi Taro Patrick of Newtown, 19-year-old Dean Finocchiaro of Middletown, 22-year-old Michael Sturgis of Pennsburg and 21-year-old Thomas Meo of Plumstead.
DiNardo is facing four counts of criminal homicide, one count of criminal conspiracy, three counts of robbery, four counts of abusing a corpse and two counts of possessing an instrument of crime.
DiNardo did so in a July 13 interview with police. Kratz also spoke with police and admitted to participating in the crimes.
Following the press conference at the Bucks County Administration Building in Doylestown, DiNardo and Kratz were arraigned by video in the Buckingham Courthouse of District Judge Maggie Snow.
Shore asked that no bail be issued and that the two be placed in separate prisons. He said the two were too dangerous to society and that they are split up for their own safety.
Snow complied, awarding no bail.
DiNardo was seen next to attorney Paul Lang. Kratz had no attorney present and said he hadn’t hired one yet.
Preliminary hearings for the two are set for July 31 at 1:30 p.m. in Snow’s courtroom.
DiNardo’s confession came hours after Weintraub announced that they found human remains in a 12-to-13 foot “common grave” on the property. The D.A. also reported that one of the bodies was identified as Finocchiaro.
In Friday’s conference, Weintraub stated the bodies were found in a metal tank that was converted to a cooker. He said Friday that the bodies of Sturgis and Meo were also identified and were in the tank with the body of Finocchiaro.
A reported deal between DiNardo and the District Attorney’s Office was made during the confession: the death penalty would be taken off the table if DiNardo admitted to the killings and gave the location of Patrick’s body to investigators.
According to Shore, the parents of the four victims were consulted in the decision to make the deal.
“They were consulted and they were in agreement,” Shore said following the arraignment.
Court documents stated that in that interview, DiNardo said he had set up a deal to sell Patrick four pounds of marijuana. DiNardo said he picked Patrick up and drove him to the DiNardo family farm at 6071 Lower York Road in Solebury on July 5 – the day Patrick disappeared.
DiNardo told police that Patrick only $800 – much less than the $8,000 price tag that was agreed upon. DiNardo said he then attempted to sell Patrick a shotgun for the $800. DiNardo drove himself and Patrick to a remote part of the 90-acre property and handed Patrick the shotgun. He then shot Patrick with a .22 caliber rifle.
DiNardo drove a backhoe that was on the farm to the place where he had killed Patrick and buried him in a hole no deeper than six feet deep.
“I can tell you because I’ve been there,” Weintraub said, shaking his head. “We’d still be looking for Jimi Patrick had we not made this agreement. I rode there in a car, on the same site that the other three men were found. It was so far away that I started getting sick to my stomach when we arrived.”
Two days after the DiNardo killed Patrick, he agreed to sell a one-quarter pound of marijuana to Finocchiaro. Before picking up the 19-year-old from his home, DiNardo picked up Kratz. DiNardo and Kratz had agreed that they would rob Finocchiaro in the woods on the Lower York Road property.
DiNardo told police that they did not rob Finocchiaro in the woods, but when they arrived at a barn. DiNardo said Kratz shot Finocchiaro in the head with a Smith and Wesson 357. He said that he took the gun from Kratz and shot the body of Finocchiaro.
Kratz told police a different story.
He said that DiNardo and Finocchiaro went into the barn and that he heard gunshots. Shortly after, DiNardo returned with the body of Finocchiaro wrapped in a tarp.
It was the same story for Meo and Sturgis as well.
DiNardo said he agreed to sell the two marijuana. After meeting them at nearby Peddler’s Village, Meo and Sturgis followed DiNardo and Kratz to the 2827 Aquetung Road property – where Meo’s car was later found.
The four then got into DiNardo’s pickup and headed toward the adjacent Lower York Road property.
As they exited the car, DiNardo shot Meo in the back with the .357 and Sturgis tried to flee. DiNardo then shot at Sturgis, hitting him as well.
DiNardo says that he ran out of bullets and ran over Meo – who was still alive, screaming from the gunshots – and ran him over with the backhoe. He said he used the backhoe to put the two bodies in the same metal drum where the body of Finocchiaro was.
Kratz told police the same, except he said that DiNardo killed Meo with the .22 caliber rifle – not the backhoe.
A Smith and Wesson .357 caliber revolver and an Intratec 9mm Luger were found at a home in Upper Dublin, following direction from Kratz.