Authorities on Friday filed murder charges against Cosmo DiNardo and Sean Michael Kratz in a case that centers on the killings of four young men one week ago on a Bucks County farm owned by DiNardo’s family.
DiNardo, 20, is charged with all four homicides and 20 other counts, including abuse of corpse, conspiracy and robbery, according to court documents. Kratz, 20, faces 20 counts, including three of criminal homicide.
"I feel a lot of sadness," Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said while announcing the charges Friday. "I feel relief. I feel so proud of my team, and I feel resolve. We have so much more to do to bring justice to this case."
DiNardo and Kratz, described as cousins in the criminal affadavit, are charged in the slayings of four men between July 5 and July 7 on the 70-acre DiNardo family farm in Solebury Township. Kratz is charged for three of the murders, while DiNardo faces charges for all four.
At an arraignment Friday afternoon, both men entered pleas of not guilty.
Bucks County District Court Judge Maggie Snow scheduled the men's preliminary hearings on July 31 and set no bail. She also ordered that they be held in separate prisons out of concern for their safety.
On Thursday, in what his attorney called a "full confession," DiNardo admitted to authorities that he'd been involved in killing all four men, who were identified as Dean Finocchiaro, 19, of Middletown Township; Mark Sturgis, 22, of Pennsburg, Montgomery County; Tom Meo, 21, of Plumstead Township; and Jimi Taro Patrick, 19, of Newtown Township.
"We have brought four young men one step closer to their loved ones so that they can rest in peace," Weintraub said.
Patrick was shot to death by DiNardo on July 5 as the two were alone on the farm, according to the affadavit. DiNardo told authorities that he and Patrick had arranged to meet on the farm for a marijuana drug deal, but once Patrick had arrived, DiNardo fatally shot him instead. He said he used a backhoe to dig the hole in which he buried Patrick's body.
The other three victims were killed July 7 in two separate incidents at the farm, both of which were under the guise of a drug deal, according to the affadavit.
Kratz and DiNardo had planned to rob Finocchiaro after luring him to the farm, but he was shot in the head by Kratz, the affadavit said. Later in the day, the two met up with Sturgis and Meo and shot them to death in a similarly sudden manner, the charging document said.
After killing Finocchiaro, Sturgis and Meo, DiNardo and Kratz put their bodies into a large container — what DiNardo called a "pig roaster" — and burned them using gasoline, according to the affidavit.
On Thursday, DiNardo's lawyer announced that his client had admitted to the killings and was cooperating with investigators. Kratz was arrested later the same day, authorities said.
Kratz, who is linked to addresses in the Oxford Circle section of Philadelphia and in Upper Dublin, was taken into custody by Philadelphia police late Thursday. Detectives from Bucks County also searched a property on Susquehanna Road in Upper Dublin linked to Kratz.
DiNardo, shackled and clad in an orange prison jumpsuit, said: "I'm sorry," as he was escorted to a sheriff's van Thursday.
Meo's grandfather, Chuck Meo, told an NBC News producer that crews found the remains under a blue tarp after lifting out a tank.
A lawyer for the DiNardo family released a statement on their behalf on Wednesday before crews had discovered the men's remains.
"As parents, Mr. and Mrs. DiNardo sympathize with the parents and families of the missing young men and they are cooperating in every way possible with the investigation being conducted by law enforcement," the family attorney wrote.
DiNardo's mother declined requests for comment after her son's arrest Thursday.
The DiNardo estate consists of three separate parcels that Cosmo DiNardo's parents, Antonio and Sandra DiNardo, of Bensalem, purchased between 2005 and 2008 for a combined nearly $6.5 million.
Unlike neighboring estates, the DiNardo property has no name markers at the main entrance on Lower York Road. Only a broken mailbox with fading numbers marks the driveway. On the other side of the property, along Aquetong Road, a small and crumbling white house stands near the roadside.
NBC10 journalists Deanna Durante, Rosemary Connors, Randy Gyllenhaal and Katy Zachry contributed to this report.