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Case against cousins accused in Solebury murders held for trial

JODI SPIEGEL ARTHUR

The case against Cosmo DiNardo, charged in the murders of four men in Solebury Township last July, and his cousin Sean Kratz, charged in three of the four murders, have been held for trial.

DiNardo, 20, of Bensalem, waived his right to a preliminary hearing Thursday morning via video conference from the Bucks County Correctional Facility. Following a preliminary hearing in the Bucks County Courthouse in Doylestown Thursday afternoon, District Justice Maggie Snow found there was enough evidence to hold Kratz for trial.

Both men are now scheduled for an arraignment in Bucks County Court on Oct. 6.

According to testimony by Bucks County Detective Martin McDonough, who took Kratz’s statement in a Northeast Philadelphia police station last July, Kratz, 20, of Philadelphia, said he was present when three of the four men were killed on the property at 6071 Lower York Road but did not participate in the murders and disposal of the bodies.

Jimi T. Patrick, Dean Finocchiaro, Thomas Meo and Mark Sturgis all disappeared in early July, and the community watched news footage as investigators searched and dug, eventually finding three of the four men in a common grave on the property owned by DiNardo’s parents.

The bodies of Finocchiaro, Meo and Sturgis had been placed inside a metal drum, referred to as a “cooker,” and set on fire after being killed July 7, and before being buried in a 12-foot common grave the following day. Each had been shot, and Meo also was crushed with a backhoe, according to prosecutors, and Kratz’s statement.

Patrick was killed in a separate location a day earlier, and authorities were unable to locate his remains. After conferring with the victims’ families, the Bucks County District Attorney offered DiNardo the chance to escape the death penalty in exchange for information about where to find Patrick’s body. He accepted.

The same promise has not been made to Kratz.

During Kratz’s preliminary hearing, McDonough testified that Kratz referred to the killings as a “massacre,” and said he was outside the barn where DiNardo shot and killed Finocchiaro. Kratz “claimed he threw up” when he saw Finocchiaro’s body inside the barn.

Despite that, Kratz told the detective he and DiNardo went out for cheesesteaks at Steve’s Steaks in Philadelphia at approximately 10 p.m. that night. He said he waited on the property after Finocchiaro was killed and then witnessed the murders of Meo and Sturgis, with whom DiNardo had returned.

“I think it’s incredible that they went out for a post-massacre cheesesteak,” said attorney Robert Mongeluzzi, who is representing Meo’s mother. “That’s something no parent should ever have to listen to.”

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