BUCKS COUNTY, PA (WTXF) - Authorities in Bucks County have arrested and charged two men with multiple counts of homicide in the slayings of four young men on a sprawling Solebury Township property owned by one of the suspects.
Charges were announced against Cosmo DiNardo and Sean Kratz, both 20, in the deaths of Jimi Taro Patrick, 19, Dean Finocchiaro, 19, Thomas Meo, 21, and Mark Sturgis, 22.
"We brought four young men a step closer to their loved ones so that they can rest in peace," said Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub. He was emotion filled and relieved Friday to bring some sense of closure to the distraught families.
Investigators say all four men had been shot. Cosmo DiNardo is accused of killing Patrick on July 5, burying him in a single 6-foot grave on his parent’s land in Solebury Township.
Bucks County District Attorney Winetraub says making the deal with DiNardo not to pursue the death penalty helped lead them to Patrick’s body. Had the District Attorney not made the deal?
"We'd still be looking for Jimi Patrick had we not made this agreement. I rode there in a car on the same site as the other three men were found and it was so far away that I started getting sick to my stomach on the ride," said D.A. Weintraub.
Both DiNardo and Kratz are charged with the killing Finochiarro, Meo, and Sturgis, on July 7. Their bodies were later discovered in a 12-foot deep common grave in a different location on the same Solebury Township property.
Each victim has now been positively identified according to Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub.
According to the probable cause affidavit, DiNardo told investigators that he had agreed to sell Patrick four pounds of marijuana for $8,000. Dinardo said he picked up Patrick at Patrick's home in Newtown on July 5 and drove him to the Dinardo property at 6071 Lower York Road in Solebury.
Once on the property, DiNardo says Patrick revealed he only had only $800, so DiNardo offered to sell him a shotgun for that amount. They walked to a remote part of the property, where DiNardo said he fatally shot Patrick with a .22 caliber rifle, according to the affidavit.
Dinardo then drove a backhoe that was on the property to where Patrick lay, dug a hole no more than 6 feet deep and buried him. Patrick’s body was discovered on the property late Thursday.
Then, on July 7, DiNardo tells investigators he agreed to sell a quarter-pound of marijuana to Finocchiaro for about $700, the affidavit states. DiNardo first picked up Kratz, whom he described as his cousin, and drove to Finocchiaro's home in Middletown, agreeing on the way that they would rob him, according to the affidavit.
DiNardo claims to have given Kratz a .357 handgun that belongs to his mother, and then all three drove to the Solebury property. Police say Kratz shot Finocchiaro in the head as they were leaving the barn on the site. DiNardo told investigators he then took the gun and shot Finocchiaro a second time as the victim lay on the ground.
Later on July 7, DiNardo says he met Meo and Sturgis in a church parking lot in Peddlers Village, a short distance from the DiNardo property. DiNardo told investigators that he had a marijuana "deal" set up with Meo.
Meo and Sturgis followed DiNardo to the Solebury property in Meo's Nissan Maxima, DiNardo told investigators. After parking the Nissan at 2827 Aquetong Road, Meo and Sturgis rode with DiNardo in his truck to the adjacent Lower York Road property, where Kratz awaited.
After the men exited the truck, DiNardo claims he shot Meo in the back with the .357 handgun, then fired several times at Sturgis as he fled, striking him.
DiNardo said he then ran over Meo with the backhoe before using it to lift both bodies into a metal tank where he already had placed Finocchiaro's corpse, the court records say.
The following day, Dinardo told police, he and Kratz returned to the property, where DiNardo used the backhoe to dig a deep hole and bury the tank containing the three bodies.
Kratz gave a similar statement to detectives on Thursday night, but said that it was DiNardo who shot Finocchiaro, not him.
Additional charges against both men include conspiracy, robbery, abuse of a corpse, and possession of an instrument of crime.
“Our work is not done,” Weintraub said at the end of Friday’s press conference.
As for why Dinardo and Kratz allegedly killed the young men?
"I'm not really sure if we can ever answer that question," said D.A. Weintraub.
Both were held without bail after their arraignment.
Kratz will be taken to a prison in another county. A judge said they want to keep him and Dinardo a part for their safety and the safety of other prisoners and witnesses.