The families of three men who were shot and buried on a Bucks County, Pennsylvania, farm in July are now suing the accused killer's parents and their various business holdings for allegedly giving the defendant a "playland for illegal acts."
Attorneys representing the families of Dean Finocchiaro, Thomas Meo and Jimi Taro Patrick filed a trio of wrongful death lawsuits Monday in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas against Sandra and Antonio DiNardo.
Their son, Cosmo DiNardo, confessed to killing the three men and a fourth man, Mark Sturgis, during a murderous three-day spree on a sprawling 90-acre farm near New Hope.
Prosecutors said the 20-year-old lured the victims to his parents' property under the guise of selling them marijuana and then shot and killed them. 19-year-old Finocchiaro, 21-year-old Meo, and 22-year-old Strugis' bodies were lit on fire inside a pig roaster before being buried in a shallow grave. Patrick, 19, was buried in another location on the farm.
Their bodies were discovered after a multi-day search that involved local, state, and federal authorities. Cosmo DiNardo's confession was given in exchange for Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub not seeking the death penalty.
The lawsuits charge DiNardo's parents, their various real estate companies, and other related business partners with providing the tools necessary to kill, and then conceal, the bodies of his victims.
“Had [DiNardo] not had access to the gun, the backhoe, the pig roaster and the farm itself, this crime could not have been committed,” Philadelphia-based attorney Tom Kline, who represents the Finocchiaro family, said.
"Mentally ill people and guns don’t mix,” added Philadelphia-based attorney Bob Mongeluzzi, who represents Meo’s family.
DiNardo comes from a family that built a real estate fortune in Philadelphia, Montgomery and Bucks counties. His grandfather, also named Cosmo DiNardo, owned several properties, with records dating back to the 1970s showing a mix of residential and commercial rental properties.
But the younger DiNardo had a history of mental health problems. He had been committed to an institution one year prior to the alleged murders.
DiNardo's cousin, Sean Kratz, was also implicated in the killings. Both pleaded not guilty to homicide and abuse of corpses.
Sturgis' family filed a wrongful death suit last year.