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Cosmo DiNardo waives preliminary hearing in Bucks murders

07 September 2017

The charges came in mid-July after days of digging on a Solebury farm owned by DiNardo's parents produced the bodies of Finocchiaro, Meo and Sturgis, all of whom were found in a shared grave. Clockwise from the top left: Jimi Tar Patrick, Thomas Charles Meo, Dean Andrew Finocchiaro and Mark Richard Sturgis. Instead, police allege, the men were robbed, shot, killed and buried.

The two cousins accused of murdering four men are expected in a Bucks County court Thursday to decide if there's enough evidence to go to trial.

Three rows of seats in the courtroom gallery were filled with victims' family members.

"It was short", Finocchiaro family lawyer Thomas Kline told NBC.

DiNardo will face a lengthy list of charges that include criminal homicide, abuse of a corpse, robbery with the intent to inflict serious bodily harm and various conspiracy offenses.

A preliminary hearing for Kratz, of Northeast Philadelphia, is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. That determination must be made prior to his formal arraignment.

They 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. The remains of Patrick, 19, of Newtown Township, were later discovered buried some distance away.

"My lawyer explained it to me and that's what I'd like to do, your honor", he said when Common Pleas Judge Maggie Snow asked if DiNardo would like to waive his preliminary hearing in three separate cases. Officials on occasion will move high-profile hearings out of the smaller district court buildings to accommodate attendance and security concerns.

Kratz's attorney has vowed to offer a "vigorous" defense.

Prosecutors are continuing to analyze potential aggravating circumstances in Kratz's case and have not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty against him. Patrick's body was found at another location. Prosecutors took the death penalty off the table for DiNardo in exchange for his cooperation, which led them to Patrick's body - located as much as a half mile from the common grave on the farm. DiNardo appeared in court Thursday by way of video chat next to his attorney, Michael Parlow, dressed in his orange prison jumpsuit.

Kratz so far has struck no such deal. Later in the day, Kratz and DiNardo met up with Sturgis and Meo and shot them to death in a similarly sudden manner, the charging document said.

Cosmo DiNardo waives preliminary hearing in Bucks murders