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Defense blames co-defendant of man accused in slayings

  • The Associated Press


(Doylestown) — The attorney for a man accused of helping his cousin kill four young men and bury them at a suburban Philadelphia farm two years ago says his client was being “preyed upon by a psychopath.”

Sean Kratz, 22, last year turned down a plea deal that would have helped him avoid a possible death penalty. His cousin, Cosmo DiNardo, 22, pleaded guilty and faces life in prison.

Bucks County prosecutors have alleged that Dinardo lured the four victims, ages 19 to 22, to his family’s Solebury farm under the guise of making marijuana deals. They were found after a five-day search in 2017, three of them set afire and placed 12 feet deep in an oil tank converted into a pig roaster.

Assistant District Attorney Kate Kohler told jurors Wednesday that Kratz killed one of the victims and helped while Dinardo killed two others, then helped clean and cover up the evidence. Kohler said the two were “on a mission to kill, rob, burn and bury bodies.”

Kratz’s attorney, A. Charles Peruto Jr., said Dinardo threatened to kill his client and his family if he didn’t cooperate. He said DiNardo was the “lunatic,” not his client, who he said was “somebody preyed upon by a psychopath.”

Kohler, however, said there were multiple times Kratz could have called for help or even turned the gun on DiNardo. She called the slayings “just something fun to do that day because they could.”

Peruto said his client was later manipulated into giving a recorded confession that is expected to be played in court. Both men are also expected to testify during the trial.

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