Trial begins for Sean Kratz in Bucks County murder case

The attorney for a man accused of helping his cousin kill three of four young men found buried at a Solebury Township farm two years ago says his client was being "preyed upon by a psychopath."

Sean Kratz, 22, last year turned down a plea deal that would have helped him avoid a possible death penalty. His cousin, Cosmo DiNardo, 22, pleaded guilty and faces life in prison.

Bucks County prosecutors have 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.

Sean Kratz stunned prosecutors in turning down a plea deal that would have helped him avoid the death penalty.


Assistant District Attorney Kate Kohler told jurors Wednesday that Kratz killed one of the victims and helped while Dinardo killed two others, then helped clean and cover up the evidence. Kohler said the two were "on a mission to kill, rob, burn and bury bodies."
 
Kratz's attorney, A. Charles Peruto Jr., said his client who he calls “not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree” didn’t shoot anyone and claims the much larger Dinardo threatened Kratz saying, “I will kill your family first and then you. We are in this together.”

He also said DiNardo was the "lunatic," not his client, who he said was "somebody preyed upon by a psychopath."


RELATED COVERAGE:


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 aggressively attacked Kratz’s former court-appointed attorney, Craig Penglase, telling the jury through deceit he tried to strike a plea deal with prosecutors that Kratz later rejected.

Both men are also expected to testify during the trial.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.