DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A 21-year-old man who enlisted his cousin in a gruesome plot to kill four young men at his family’s suburban Philadelphia farm last summer pleaded guilty Wednesday to murder charges that will put him behind bars for life.
Cosmo DiNardo’s plea gave solace to a grieving father who turned to the stone-faced killer in a packed courtroom and said, “Your only way out of prison is wearing a toe tag.”
“That’s the least we all deserve,” said Mark Potash, the father of 22-year-old victim Mark Sturgis.
DiNardo’s cousin, 21-year-old Sean Kratz, is expected to plead guilty Wednesday afternoon to charges related to his involvement in the deaths of the men, ages 19 to 22.
Kratz was charged in three of the deaths. DiNardo, seen as the mastermind of the killings, was charged in all four.
DiNardo pleaded guilty to charges including first-degree murder, conspiracy, robbery and abuse of a corpse. His lawyer said he did so to avoid the death penalty.
DiNardo was legally barred from possessing firearms due to an involuntary commitment. He had a schizophrenia diagnosis and repeated contacts with police, but lawyer Fortunato Perri said mental health professionals who evaluated DiNardo after his arrest weren’t sure they could present an insanity defense.