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
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.
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.
WATCH NBC10 NEWS LIVE NOW: Guns, a pig roaster & backhoe — the tools Cosmo DiNardo used to ambush 4 men on his Bucks farm. @deannadurante has the #Exclusive confession audio on NBC10 & in the app: https://t.co/NzBdPkb8Xu pic.twitter.com/zIWazf32fe— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) May 17, 2018
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."
EXCLUSIVE AUDIO: "Said a prayer, put him in the hole," Cosmo DiNardo's confession to 4 murders on his Bucks Co. farm — crimes that captivated the nation. https://t.co/uvyhDuXJln pic.twitter.com/XHgti0ZolA— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) May 16, 2018
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.
Two days later on July 7, Dean Finocchiaro came to DiNardo’s farm hoping to buy marijuana from him too.
HAPPENING NOW - Cosmo DiNardo pleads guilty to 1st degree murder in homicides of Jimi Patrick, Tom Meo, Mark Sturgis and Dean Finocchiaro. While addressing the court, Meo’s mother angrily stared down DiNardo saying it took everything in her not to f_____g kill him. @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/ha424VUsaI— Joe Holden (@JoeHoldenCBS3) May 16, 2018
Judge tells Cosmo DiNardo I have no doubt, if released, you’d kill again. 21 year old sentenced to 4 life terms. @FOX29philly— Jeff Cole (@JeffColeFox29) May 16, 2018
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.
Families of murder victims read statements to the judge. Thomas Meo’s mother turned to look Cosmo DiNardo in the eyes: “F-ucking piece of shit. It’s taking me everything not to f-ing kill you right now.”— Laura McCrystal (@LMcCrystal) May 16, 2018
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.”
Father of Mark Sturgis tells Cosmo Dinardo he’ll never make it prison. “Not only are wanna-bes and cowards like you preyed upon, they’ll know you’re a snitch before you make your bed.” @KYWNewsradio— Jim Melwert (@JMelwert) May 16, 2018
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.