HARRISBURG, Pa. (Reuters) – Two Pennsylvania men accused of luring four young men to a farm with the promise of marijuana, shooting them dead and then burning their bodies in a pig roaster were due in court in the murder case on Wednesday.
Cosmo DiNardo and his cousin Sean Kratz, both 21, were set to appear at a hearing in Bucks County Court of Common Pleas in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
DiNardo, of Bensalam, and Kratz, of Philadelphia, were both charged with the murders of three of the men – Dean Finocchiaro, 19, of Middletownship, Mark Sturgis, 22, of Pennsburg and Thomas Meo, 21, of Plumstead Township. DiNardo alone is charged with the murder of the fourth man, Jimi Patrick, 19, of Newtown.
DiNardo confessed to the murders to avoid the death penalty, according to Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub. He then entered a not-guilty plea at his arraignment in December. Kratz has no deal with prosecutors.
The bodies of three victims were found in a common grave at DiNardo’s family’s farm in Solebury Township in July 2017. After authorities found those bodies, which had been loaded into a pig roaster and set on fire, DiNardo led authorities to Patrick’s body buried nearby.
All four victims were lured to the farm with the belief that Dinardo would sell them marijuana, then were shot dead, according to criminal court documents.
Patrick was killed when he visited the farm on July 5, while the other three victims were killed when they went there together two days later.
Families of the victims later filed wrongful death suits against DiNardo’s parents and their construction company, saying he should not have had access to guns due to previous mental health issues.
Dinardo was charged with four counts each of criminal homicide, conspiracy to commit homicide, three counts of robbery and abuse of a corpse. Kratz was charged with three counts of criminal homicide, conspiracy to commit criminal homicide, abuse of a corpse and robbery.
Writing by Barbara Goldberg; editing by Bill Berkrot