DOYLESTOWN, Pa. | The Bucks County district attorney announced Monday that his office will no longer seek the death penalty for a man convicted last week for his role in the 2017 murders of three men.
District Attorney Matthew Weintraub said he will no longer pursue the death penalty in the case of Sean Kratz, who was convicted Friday of first- and second-degree murder in the July 2017 killing of 19-year-old Dean Finocchiaro, of Middletown Township. The penalty phase of the trial was scheduled to begin Monday morning.
The 22-year-old Kratz faces a mandatory life sentence after being convicted of first and second-degree murder in Finocchiaro's death. Jurors also found Kratz guilty of conspiring with his cousin, Cosmo DiNardo, to rob and kill Finocchiaro at a Solebury Township farm owned by DiNardo's family.
"I am awed by the grace demonstrated by the Finocchiaro family in helping me to make this difficult decision to not pursue the death penalty against the defendant,” Weintraub said in a prepared statement.
But I am reminded, that we do this not for the defendant’s benefit, but for our own. It is the right thing to do, and now this criminal saga is over. I hope that the families of Jimi Patrick, Dean Finocchiaro, Tom Meo, and Mark Sturgis can take solace that both DiNardo and Kratz will die in prison for what they did to their boys," Weintraub said.
The district attorney will instead seek multiple life sentences for Kratz. Family members of the victims were in court Monday reading victim impact statements.
In court, Meo's family called Kratz an evil monster. The father of Mark Sturgis said he's broken beyond repair. His mother said Mark would have been celebrating his 25th birthday this week, and Finocchiaro's family spoke about how Dean's now-two-year-old puppy is a posthumous lifeline to their son.
Tom Kline, attorney for Dean Finocchiaro's parents, released a statement:
There is sadness in the hearts of the parents of Dean Finocchiaro who lost their son to the murderous plot directed by Cosmo DiNardo and carried out against their son by DiNardo and Sean Kratz with the weaponry of DiNardo's parents. They mourn for their son and the others who died and are satisfied that now they have some closure knowing that both of their son's killers will be punished.
"The defendant had so many opportunities to not only extricate himself from this awful, heinous, diabolical plan," said Bucks County DA Matt Weintraub. "He could have saved them but only chose to think only of himself."
"The grace shown by the families throughout the process-grace and courage and resilience-allowed us to do the jobs we have over the past two and half years," said Assistant DA Gregg Shore.
Investigators found Finocchiaro's remains on the DiNardo family farm burned and buried in a grave more than 12 feet deep.
The jury also convicted Kratz of voluntary manslaughter in the shooting deaths of Sturgis, 22, and Meo, 21.
The 22-year-old DiNardo pleaded guilty last year and is serving four consecutive life sentences for the killings.