A judge ruled that a lawsuit against the parents of murderer Cosmo DiNardo, 23, can move forward. The court determined that father Antonio DiNardo and mother Sandra DiNardo can be held liable for their son killing four men in 2017, according to the Associated Press.
The plaintiffs, family members of victim Jimi T. Patrick, are arguing that DiNardos knew about the defendant’s mental health issues and violent behavior, and didn’t stop him from getting his hands on firearms at their property. The judge denied a motion to dismiss that part of the lawsuit.
Cosmo DiNardo pleaded guilty in the murders of Patrick, Dean Finocchiaro, 19, Thomas Meo, 21, Mark Sturgis, 22. He is serving four life sentences without parole in a Pennsylvania prison.
By most accounts, DiNardo’s behavior started changing for a while. His mother told Philadelphia Magazine in an interview that he was diagnosed in 2016 with a “major depressive order.” Things really changed with a May 2016 ATV accident on the family farm: he was trapped for hours under the vehicle, and sustained a serious head injury. From then on, he became more aggressive, and alienated friends. According to the mother’s account, he once bit her and gave her a black eye during a fight when she was trying to get him to admit himself into a hospital.
Accounts of his general attitude somewhat differ.
“Cosmo was crazy,” said Amber Peters told The New York Times. “He’s been talking about killing people since he was 14.” Her boyfriend was described as formerly being close to the defendant. DiNardo, at age 15, once punched two people when he saw them speaking to a girlfriend at a mall, said a friend cited by the outlet.
DiNardo confessed to investigators that he’d killed the victims during drug deals. He described himself as a middle-man. Patrick was murdered on July 5, 2017. Finocchiaro’s murder followed on the 7th. Sean Kratz, the defendant’s cousin, confessed to first shooting this victim in the back of the head. But in his own admission to police, DiNardo admitted to opening fire on Finocchiaro’s body in order to finish him off.
“I just shot him,” he said.
He killed Meo and Strugis an hour later in another purported deal. DiNardo said that when Meo didn’t immediately die, he ran him over with a backhoe.
Despite his confession, Kratz fought charges. He was convicted of murder in the death of Finocchiaro, and voluntary manslaughter in the deaths of Meo and Sturgis. He was sentenced to life. DiNardo got a life sentence–prosecutors declined to seek the death penalty because he agreed to plead guilty.
[Mugshot via Bucks County District Attorney’s Office]
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