Sean Kratz found guilty of first- and second-degree murder

Jim Melwert
November 15, 2019 - 1:04 pm
Sean Kratz

Bucks County District Attorney's Office

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DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) Sean Kratz, the man accused of killing three men on a Bucks County farm in 2017, was found guilty on Friday afternoon for his role in the murders.

Kratz, 22, hung his head low as the jury foreman read the verdict. They took 18 hours over three days to find him guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder and robbery in the death of Dean Finocchiaro on his cousin's Solebury farm. He was also found guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the deaths of Mark Sturgis and Tom Meo, who were killed by his cousin, Cosmo DiNardo, while he was present.

Family members of the victims held each other in their arms, tears rolling down their faces, as the verdict was read.

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The jury spent more than 18 hours over the past three days deliberating. Next, they must decide on a sentence of death or life in prison. 

At a minimum, Kratz faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison, but with the guilty verdict of first-degree murder, death penalty proceedings will begin on Monday.

Kratz gave a recorded, full confession as part of a plea deal to third-degree murder in April 2018, in which he admitted to shooting Finocchiaro in the head, but he backed out of the deal at the last minute. That deal would have put him in state prison for 59 to 118 years, but he decided to go to trial.

During the trial, Kratz's defense argued he acted out of fear of his cousin. Defense attorney Charles Peruto said Kratz fired a shot into Finocchairo’s head because he was scared for his own life if he didn’t participate. 

Prosecutors, however, said the three men would have been alive if it were not for Kratz’s actions. They also argued Kratz was holding the murder weapon for nearly two hours before Finocchiaro was killed, and Kratz had numerous chances to get help.

As the families prayed and hoped for the well-being of their loved ones while investigators searched for their bodies in 2017, prosecutors noted Kratz was on his phone during that time, searching for sneakers and watching porn. Kratz and DiNardo then went out for cheesesteaks.

The victims' bodies were burned in a makeshift pig roaster and buried in a 12-foot-deep hole.

DiNardo went forward with his plea deal last year for the three murders, plus the murder of Jimi Patrick. He is currently serving four consecutive life sentences. 

Attorneys in the case declined comment as they remain bound by a gag order.

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