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BUCKS COUNTY, Pa. (CBS/AP) — One of two cousins has pleaded guilty to murder charges in the gruesome killings of four young men whose bodies were found buried on a suburban Philadelphia farm. Cosmo DiNardo will be spending the rest of his life in jail, while his cousin, Sean Kratz, rejected a guilty plea deal and is now facing the death penalty.
DiNardo, 21, pleaded guilty in Bucks County court on Wednesday to four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Jimi Patrick, Tom Meo, Mark Sturgis and Dean Finocchiaro. He also pleaded guilty to conspiracy, robbery, abuse of corpse and weapons charges.
DiNardo was sentenced to four consecutive sentences of life in prison.
Kratz, however, shocked the courtroom and rejected the plea offer. Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub says he was hopeful this would’ve been resolved, but that his office will keep pursuing this case against Kratz.
“We’re going to seek the death penalty against him, make no mistake about it,” said Weintraub.
“They have some comfort knowing Cosmo DiNardo will spend his life behind bars, but there’s mixed emotion in knowing they have to deal with trial,” said attorney Carin O’Donnell.
Families lashed out at DiNardo during victim impact statements.
“I pray that Dean’s spirit haunts you the rest of your miserable life,” said Anthony Finocchiaro, Dean’s father.
“You started at the top and worked your way down to the gutter,” said Mark Potash, the father of Mark Sturgis.
The attorneys for the families said in a statement that DiNardo’s punishment is “necessary retribution for the evil which he” committed.
“The families of Dean A. Finocchiaro, Thomas C. Meo and Jimi T. Patrick, while grieving, have satisfaction in knowing that Cosmo DiNardo will be spending his life in jail for the mayhem and murder which he perpetrated on three innocent young men, and, by extension, upon their families. He will be punished for his cowardly behavior, which is necessary retribution for the evil which he and his accomplice, Sean Kratz, committed,” attorneys Tom Kline, Robert Mongeluzzi and Carin O’Donnell said in a statement.
Last July, DiNardo lured the men to his family’s 90-acre farm in Solebury Township under the guise of selling marijuana.
“The defendant for whatever reason he had, he killed Jimi Patrick and after that he liked it,” said said Weintraub. “He knew he was putting himself on the map, and he became a man eater.”
After a grueling, five-day search, and information from DiNardo, authorities discovered the men’s bodies buried on the DiNardo’s property. Three of the bodies had been burned in a pig roaster and were buried together using heavy equipment. Patrick’s body was found in a separate grave.
DiNardo’s lawyer said his client has confessed to avoid the death penalty.
His cousin, Kratz, is charged in three of the murders.
Just a few months ago, the families of three of the victims, Finocchiaro, Meo and Patrick, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against DiNardo, his parents and his cousin. The family of the fourth victim, Sturgis, filed a similar lawsuit last year.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)