Defense rests after victims' parents take stand in Sean Kratz murder trial

The prosecution and defense rested their case Tuesday in the murder trial against 22-year-old Sean Kratz.

Antonio and Sandra DiNardo testified their son Cosmo and his cousin Sean Kratz had spent little time together until the weekend for July 4, 2017, when the four young men were slain and buried in the Bucks County cornfield. DiNardo's mother told jurors she questioned her son when she learned the young men were missing.

Earlier Tuesday, emotional testimony from the parents of 19-year-old Dean Finocchiaro and 22-year old Mark Sturgis. Finocchiaro, dabbed at tears with a tissue, said he had a "great dinner" with his son on July 7 before Dean went out and never returned.

Aimee King, the mother of Mark Sturgis, through tears, recalled standing in the cornfield where the bodies were found.

"It was unbearable. We had to stand behind a barrier at the farm. I wanted to run up there and be with my son to sit next to him," King explained.

Sean Kratz is charged with criminal homicide in the deaths of Dean Finocchiaro, Mark Sturgis and 21-year-old Thomas Meo.

Cosmo DiNardo has admitted to the three killings and that of a fourth man Jimmi Patrick. He’s serving four life sentences.

Court observers believed defense attorney Charles Peruto’s would call his client Sean Kratz to the stand in a last-ditch effort to avoid conviction and a possible spot on death row. Under oath, Kratz told the judge he did not want to testify and the defense rested.

Kratz's attorney said last week that his client was being "preyed upon by a psychopath."

Bucks County prosecutors alleged that Dinardo lured the four victims, ages 19 to 22, to his family's Solebury farm under the guise of making marijuana deals. They were found after a five-day search in 2017, three of them set afire and placed 12 feet deep in an oil tank converted into a pig roaster.


Kratz's attorney, A. Charles Peruto Jr., said Dinardo threatened to kill his client and his family if he didn't cooperate. He said DiNardo was the "lunatic," not his client, who he said was "somebody preyed upon by a psychopath."

Kohler, however, said there were multiple times Kratz could have called for help or even turned the gun on DiNardo. She called the slayings "just something fun to do that day because they could."

Peruto said his client was later manipulated into giving a recorded confession that was played in court. 


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The Associated Press contributed to this report.