Pennsylvania

Detectives, Medical Examiner Testify on Day 2 of 2017 Bucks County Farm Murders

One of five detectives who testified Thursday said he tracked the cell phone conversations between Sean Kratz and Cosmo DiNardo during the times of the murders in 2017

What to Know

  • Sean Kratz faces the death penalty if convicted in the 2017 Bucks County farm killings.
  • Kratz is accused of helping his cousin kill three of the four young men killed and then buried at the farm outside New Hope.
  • Kratz stunned prosecutors and victims' relatives last year in turning down a plea deal that would have helped him avoid the death penalty.

Five detectives took the stand on day two of the trial for a man accused of taking part in the 2017 Bucks County farm murders of four young men.

Sean Kratz, 22, is charged with three counts of homicide, plus conspiracy, robbery, abuse of a corpse, and possession of a weapon. He is expected to testify on his own behalf later this week, according to his attorneys.

The detectives were among 10 people who testified Thursday, with a very somber mood dominating the day. Testimony in front of a courtroom full of the victims' families included graphic details and photographs from the autopsies.

Kratz could receive the death penalty if found guilty. Kratz’s cousin and alleged conspirator, Cosmo DiNardo, is also expected to take the stand, lawyers said. DiNardo pleaded guilty last year to the murders and received four consecutive life sentences.

The trial is expected to last through next week. More testimony will take place Friday.

On Wednesday during opening arguments, prosecutors and Kratz’s defense team presented two different versions of what happened in July 2017 when the victims — 19-year-old Dean Finocchiaro, 22-year-old Mark Sturgis, 21-year-old Tom Meo and 19-year-old Jimi Taro Patrick — were killed.

[PHOTOS]Timeline: Murder of Four Young Men in Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Kratz and DiNardo were on a “mission to kill, rob and bury bodies,” Bucks County Deputy District Attorney Mary Kate Kohler said during her opening argument. “It was one of the most horrific days in Bucks County history.”

Prosecutors say Kratz and DiNardo, who pleaded guilty last year to the murders and received four consecutive life sentences, worked in tandem over the course of several days to lure the victims to DiNardo’s family farm under the guise of buying marijuana.

One of the detectives who testified Thursday said he tracked the cell phone conversations between Kratz and DiNardo during the times of the murders in 2017.

Bucks County District Attorney's Office
(L-R): Mark Sturgis & Tom Meo
Newtown Township Police, Middletown Township Police
(L to R), Jimi Patrick, Dean Finocchiaro

All four victims were shot to death. Three of the victims’ bodies were doused in gasoline and burned in a makeshift pig roaster, according to confession tapes obtained exclusively by NBC10. Click here to hear and read the grisly confessions.

Kratz’s lawyer, A. Charles Peruto Jr., described his client as having a low IQ and being “preyed upon by a psychopath.”

“The evidence will show that all four would be dead with or without Sean Kratz," he said.

Jurors also heard from Tom Meo’s mother, who recounted calling police when her son went missing. Later in the afternoon, they were shown ATVs Dean Finocchiaro, DiNardo and Kratz rode shortly before Finocchiaro died.

The bloodbath started on July 5, 2017 when Jimi Taro Patrick, DiNardo’s former classmate, attempted to buy cannabis from DiNardo. Instead, he was shot in the back and buried just 10 feet from where he died.

Two days later, DiNardo orchestrated another marijuana deal that allegedly involved Kratz. The cousins were meant to steal Finocchiaro’s money and maybe even kill him. It wouldn’t be the first time DiNardo did that, he told Kratz, according to his confession.

“He wanted me to rob him in the woods and shoot him, take his money,” Kratz said in his confession tape. “I just couldn’t do it.”

Except that he did shoot, the recordingn to say in his confession.

"[DiNardo] gave me a signal — a hand gesture as a gun," Kratz said in therecording. "I kinda was hesitant. I pulled the gun out. I aimed it in the air, closed my eyes and fired a shot."

Finocchiaro collapsed to the ground. DiNardo took the gun away from Kratz and fatally shot the dying Finocchiaro. Kratz vomited shortly after the bloodshed, he previously told police.

The two remaining murders happened that same day. Tom Meo and Mark Sturgis showed up at the farm to buy pot and never left. It would take several days and countless man hours for investigators to find their bodies and piece together what happened.

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