This undated file photo provided by the Bucks County District Attorney's Office in Doylestown, Pa., shows Sean Kratz of Philadelphia. (Photo: Uncredited, AP)
A man was convicted Friday for his role in the grisly deaths of three young men who were lured to a remote farm outside a Philadelphia suburb, killed and then buried.
After deliberating for nearly 18 hours over three days, the jury convicted 22-year-old Sean Kratz of first-degree murder, robbery and other offenses.
Kratz went to trial after rejecting an offer to plead guilty to third-degree murder, which would have put him in prison for at least 59 years for the crimes.
Now the jury has to decide to give him a sentence of life in prison or death. That process starts on Monday.
His cousin, 22-year-old Cosmo DiNardo, who was identified as the leader of the plot, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison.
Lawyers say Kratz and his cousin admitted to killing Dean Finocchiaro, 19, Tom Meo, 21, and Mark Sturgis, 22, after luring them to DiNardo’s family’s 90-acre farm for a drug deal in 2017.
Kratz was convicted of first-degree and second-degree murder for killing Finocchiaro and voluntary manslaughter in connection with the other two victims.
DiNardo told authorities that Finocchiaro agreed to buy a quarter pound of marijuana for $700. Bucks County prosecutors said Kratz shot him in the head and served as lookout as DiNardo killed Sturgis and Meo.
The victims’ bodies were burned in a makeshift pig roaster and buried in a 12-foot-deep hole. After the killings, prosecutors said, Kratz and DiNardo went for cheesesteaks.
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DiNardo also admitted to killing 19-year-old Jimi Tar Patrick in another drug deal two days earlier. He told authorities Patrick was a drug dealer who agreed to purchase 4 pounds of marijuana for $8,000 but showed up with only $800. DiNardo said he lured Patrick to the farm, shot him and buried him with a backhoe.
Kratz and DiNardo were “on a mission to kill, rob, burn and bury the bodies,” Assistant District Attorney Kate Kohler told jurors at Kratz’s trial.
There was a possibility that DiNardo would testify at his cousin’s trial, but prosecutors said he rejected their subpoena. Kratz did not take the stand in his own defense.
Prosecutors and the defense are under a gag order in the case and declined comment after the verdict.
Contributing: John Bacon, USA TODAY; Associated Press. Follow Adrianna Rodriguez on Twitter: @AdriannaUSAT.
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