Prosecutors move to keep death penalty an option in slayings

Elias Hubbard
December 15, 2017

A lawyer for a man charged with his cousin in the deaths of four young men found shot and buried on a Pennsylvania farm says he's "disappointed" by prosecutors certifying his case for capital punishment when it's his cousin who's the "admitted killer".

Wednesday, prosecutors filed paperwork to make sure the death penalty is still an option against 20-year-olds Cosmo DiNardo and Sean Kratz.

His confession, which allegedly included alerting investigators to the location of Patrick's body in a remote part of the 90-acre farm, was given in exchange for an offer from Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintrab that the death penalty not be sought at trial.

The District Attorney's Office tells FOX 29, filing notices of aggravating circumstances is standard procedure, and the deal with DiNardo remains in place should he plead guilty in each of the four deaths, and agree to four consecutive life sentences. It remains unclear if that condition applies to Kratz.

"The commonwealth can seek the death penalty, you understand that, sir?" Neither of the cousins, who are 20 years old, spoke about the case during their separate arraignments, which drew dozens of the victims' friends and family members.

Prosecutors move to keep death penalty an option in slayings
Prosecutors move to keep death penalty an option in slayings

"We made an agreement with Cosmo DiNardo".

Prosecutors said they are still deciding whether to pursue the death penalty against Kratz.

Prosecutors would seek the death penalty for DiNardo only if he chose to go to trial or if additional evidence or other crimes were discovered, Weintraub said.

The charges stem from the July shooting deaths of 19-year-old Dean Finocchiaro, 22-year-old Mark Sturgis, 21-year-old Tom Meo and 19-year-old Jimi Taro Patrick, whose bodies were found after a grueling, five-day search in sweltering heat and pelting rain that centered on the farm in Solebury, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of Philadelphia.

DiNardo's and Kratz's lawyers left the courtroom Thursday without speaking with reporters. His lawyer has vowed a vigorous defense.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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