Cousins ordered to stand trial for series of murders

Sean Michael Kratz, of the 800 block of Magee Ave., and Cosmo DiNardo, of Bensalem, will stand trial for slayings.

Kratz (left) and DiNardo.

A Northeast Philadelphia man and his cousin have been ordered to stand trial for a series of murders that occurred on a northern Bucks County farm in July.

In separate preliminary hearings in a Doylestown courtroom last Thursday, District Judge Maggie Snow ordered Sean Michael Kratz, 20, of the 800 block of Magee Ave., and Cosmo DiNardo, 20, of Bensalem to stand trial for the slayings of Dean A. Finocchiaro, 19, of Middletown Township; Thomas C. Meo, 21, of Plumstead (who once attended St. Anselm School in Parkwood); and Mark R. Sturgis, 22, of Pennsburg. DiNardo is further accused of murdering Jimi T. Patrick, 19, of Newtown.

DiNardo previously confessed to investigators that he shot and killed Patrick at his parents’ Solebury Township farm on July 5, before he and Kratz conspired in the slayings of the other three victims on July 7 at the same location. In exchange for the confession, the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office reportedly agreed not to seek the death penalty for DiNardo.

According to the Morning Call, a Bucks County detective testified in court last week that Kratz told investigators he was not a participant in the three July 7 murders, although he was present at the farm. Kratz allegedly told investigators that DiNardo acted alone when he shot and buried Finocchiaro, Meo and Sturgis.

The Morning Call further reported Kratz described the slayings to police as a “massacre” and told the investigators he and DiNardo traveled to Philadelphia and ate cheesesteaks on July 7 after DiNardo loaded the victims into a meat cooker and set them on fire. The defendants returned to the farm on July 8, when DiNardo used a backhoe to bury the charred bodies.

The defendants are also charged with conspiracy, robbery, abuse of corpse and related offenses. Prosecutors have not disclosed a suspected motive beyond robbery.

Trial dates have not been set. Both defendants are imprisoned without bail. ••