Philly man pleads guilty to killing four after luring them with weed; accomplice cousin pleads not guilty

21-year-old Cosmo DiNardo was given four life sentences for the murders; his cousin Sean Kratz rejected a plea deal and opted to head for trial


                            Philly man pleads guilty to killing four after luring them with weed; accomplice cousin pleads not guilty

A 21-year-old man was sentenced to life after he pleaded guilty to killing four men after luring them with promise of weed to a farm in Solebury Township in Pennsylvania last year.

The murder of the four young men -- Thomas Meo, Mark Sturgis, Dean Finocchiaro, and Jimi Patrick -- almost a year ago in Bucks County had captured the attention of the region and nation.

On Wednesday, Cosmo DiNardo, a rich Bensalem resident accused in the murders, apologized to the families of the four victims, three of whom authorities said were shot dead and burned in a pig roaster by DiNardo and his cousin, Sean Kratz. The fourth was run over with a backhoe.

Kratz, 21, of Philadelphia, has rejected a plea deal and opted to head to trial.

DiNardo is the privileged son of wealthy parents who own land in Bucks County, just north of Philadelphia. There he drove around in ATVs and indulged in shooting with guns, which according to his friends he also sold.
He also sold marijuana and customized Nike sneakers, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
 

 

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According to a report by Washington Post citing court records, DiNardo was involuntarily sent to a mental health facility for treatment of schizophrenia in 2016.

He was also banned from his high school and Arcadia College, which he attended for a semester; the reason cited was his strange and aggressive behavior on campus.

He also made bizarre Facebook posts, openly asking for sex and talking about going to taxidermy school.





 



Eventually, his friends told the Inquirer, he was talking about killing people and being "a savage".

He was also reported declaring on social media, “I am a savage no explanation needed."

On Wednesday, Dinardo pleaded guilty to killing the four men whose disappearance in July 2017 alarmed the Philadelphia community and the police; he was caught trying to sell one of the victim's car, and a few days later DiNardo confessed to the murders.
 


He was sentenced to four consecutive life sentences and his cousin Kratz was charged as Dinardo's accomplice and accused of killing one of the men.

He shockingly rejected a plea yesterday and now may face a death sentence.

Ten months later, the police are still clueless about the motive of the killings even after an hour-long confession of DiNardo, excerpts of which were published.

In the confession, DiNardo details the series of events that led and followed the killings. Over the course of three days, DiNardo called four young men to sell marijuana on his farm and killed them as soon as they turned their backs to him.

Left to Right, Jimi Patrick and Dean Finocchiaro (Courtesy:Newtown Township Police)
Left to Right, Jimi Patrick and Dean Finocchiaro (Courtesy:Newtown Township Police)

 
Jimi Taro Patrick was the first man to go missing on July 5, a 19-year-old business major on full scholarship at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore.
 
DiNardo told the detective that Patrick was supposed to bring $8,000 to buy a “large quantity of marijuana” and meet him at the farm.
 
“So we get there, you know, and I said, okay, well let me see the $8,000 — let me see the money,” DiNardo said on the recording. “So I go to count the money, and there’s 800 bucks there. So I’m like, dude, if you don’t have the money, like, this is horrible. This is not good for me.”
 
Instead, DiNardo told Patrick he could sell him a shotgun for $800. DiNardo handed him the gun. “He goes to shoot it,” DiNardo said.

 
“And I shoot him.” After that: “I go get the backhoe, dig the hole, you know. Said a prayer. Put him in the hole.” Then he burned all of the money, because “I didn’t want the kid’s 800 bucks. I didn’t kill him over 800. I wasn’t robbing him.” 


Two days later on July 7, Dean Finocchiaro came to DiNardo’s farm hoping to buy marijuana from him too.

Finocchiaro was in the market for a quarter-pound of pot, but in truth, DiNardo told the detective, he only had a couple ounces to sell. “Now this was a robbery,” DiNardo said.
 
DiNardo took Finocchiaro to show off a Vespa in the family barn. That’s where Kratz his cousin, shot the victim, DiNardo said. 

 
In a taped confession also published in part by NBC 10, Kratz admitted he did it because DiNardo made him do it and he was afraid.
 
“I was scared that he was going to harm not only myself but, you know, I have a one-and-a-half-month-old nephew,” Kratz said. “Got a little brother, a mother. He made it out, like, you know, ‘You say anything, I will hurt your brother.’”
 
DiNardo told the detective that he shot Finocchiaro again just to “finish” it. Then he dumped Finocchiaro’s body in a makeshift pig roaster, a 12-foot-deep hole in the ground.
 

 
Just half-hour later, two more marijuana customers showed up, and the ambush played out for the third and fourth time.
DiNardo said he shot the men, 21-year-old Meo and 22-year-old Sturgis, as soon as they turned their backs.
 
Sturgis, DiNardo said, was “such a big kid, I unloaded my gun on him,” instantly killing him. But Meo was lying on the ground screaming, “I can’t feel my legs! I can’t feel my legs!”
 
But DiNardo ran out of bullets.
 
So to make the screaming stop, DiNardo said he climbed in his backhoe once again. “You know, he sees that coming and just shuts the …. up, and I just run him over,” DiNardo said.

 
DiNardo put their bodies in the pig roaster too. He dumped gasoline down the hole and started burning them. Then, NBC 10 reported, the cousins left to get Philly cheesesteak sandwiches.
 
In court on Wednesday, the victims’ families sat in the courtroom gallery while listening to DiNardo apologize, saying he couldn’t come to terms with what he had done, according to the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office.
 
He told the judge that “if there is anything I could do to take it back, I would,” but the judge didn’t want to hear it, neither did the families.
 
Judge Jeffrey L. Finley called the apology “false and insincere.” “To you, human lives are disposable,” Finley said, according to the district attorney.




Speaking directly to DiNardo, Finocchiaro’s father said he prayed that “Dean’s spirit haunts you the rest of your miserable life,” while Meo’s mother said it was “taking everything in me” not to kill DiNardo at that moment, the Morning Call reported.



Sturgis’s father, Mark Potash, remembered DiNardo’s “savage” posts on social media, posing with guns in the weeks before the murders.

“You think you’re savage?” he asked, as the Call reported. “You’ve lived your whole life protected. In prison, you’ll meet savage. And I promise you, it won’t look like you.”



After Kratz rejected the offer to plead guilty to third-degree murder and related offenses, the state will now pursue first-degree murder and the death penalty. 

“Justice is not perfect. Justice has no time limits,” Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said in a press conference. “I’m just as whiplashed as all of you," he said, adding that DiNardo could now testify against his cousin.