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Pennsylvania farm killings: Prosecutors move to keep death penalty an option

DOYLESTOWN, PA. — Prosecutors have moved to hold onto their ability to seek the death penalty against two cousins in the deaths of four men — including a Loyola student — found buried on a Philadelphia-area farm, although attorneys have said a deal with one defendant would take capital punishment off the table.

The Bucks County prosecutor's office on Wednesday filed notice of aggravating circumstances in the charges against 20-year-old Sean Kratz and 20-year-old Cosmo DiNardo in the slayings last summer in Solebury. Prosecutors said capital punishment would be justified because there were multiple murders and the slayings were committed during felonies.

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Lawyers have said DiNardo acknowledged his part in the slayings in exchange for prosecutors agreeing not to seek the death penalty. District Attorney Matt Weintraub termed Wednesday's filing as "covering his bases" in case circumstances change.

One of two cousins charged in the deaths of four men who were found buried on a sprawling Pennsylvania farm has waived his preliminary hearing.

DiNardo admitted to killing the men — rising Loyola sophomore Jimi Patrick, 19, 22-year-old Mark Sturgis, 21-year-old Tom Meo and 19-year-old Dean Finocchiaro — on his parent's farm in July.

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DiNardo told police where to find Patrick’s body, and agreed to plead guilty to four counts of first-degree murder. In exchange, he will be spared the death penalty.

Kratz is charged with killing three of the men.

Prosecutors say the bodies of three victims were found buried in a common grave. Patrick’s body was found at another location. All four had been shot.

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