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Judge rules lawsuit can proceed against Cosmo DiNardo’s parents in 2017 slaying of 4 in Bucks County

Cosmo DiNardo is serving four consecutive life sentences in the deaths of Jimi Patrick, Dean Finocchiaro, Thomas Meo, and Mark Sturgis.

File photo of Cosmo DiNardo, July 13, 2017, in Doylestown, Pa.
File photo of Cosmo DiNardo, July 13, 2017, in Doylestown, Pa.Read moreAP / Matt Rourke

A judge has denied a motion to dismiss a wrongful-death lawsuit filed against the parents of Cosmo DiNardo, who is serving four consecutive life sentences for the 2017 slayings of four men in Bucks County.

Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Shelley Robins New ruled on Wednesday that a lawsuit filed by the family of 19-year-old Jimi T. Patrick, one of the four victims, can proceed against Antonio and Sandra DiNardo.

Lawyers for Patrick’s family argued that DiNardo’s parents failed in their legal duty to protect others from their son, who had access to firearms and had a history of psychiatric problems and violent conduct.

“We are pleased that the court has sustained the parental-liability claim in our complaint, which also includes claims of wrongful death and negligence, and look forward to rightfully pursuing this case — and the companion cases brought on behalf of the other three victims — being tried before a jury,” said attorney Carin A. O’Donnell, who represents the Patrick family, in a statement on Monday.

“As argued in our pleadings, we assert that the DiNardo parents failed to keep guns, including the rifle used to murder Jimi Patrick, away from their son despite his extensive history of violent behavior, hospitalization for his mental illness, and his widely known affection for firearms, which meant he posed an undeniable danger to others,” O’Donnell said.

Cosmo DiNardo pleaded guilty in 2018 to four counts of murder in the deaths of Patrick, Dean Finocchiaro, Thomas Meo, and Mark Sturgis.

DiNardo’s cousin Sean Kratz was sentenced last year to life in prison after he was found guilty by a jury of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Finocchiaro, 22, and voluntary manslaughter in deaths of Meo and Sturgis.

Cosmo DiNardo, now 23, killed Meo, 21, and Sturgis, 19, on his family’s Solebury Township farm while Kratz acted as a lookout.

DiNardo had earlier killed Patrick and then lured Finocchiaro, Meo, and Sturgis, under the pretense of a drug deal. With Kratz’s help, DiNardo killed them and buried them in a 12-foot hole after trying to burn their bodies in a pig roaster.

The families of all four victims have filed lawsuits separately against DiNardo’s parents.

An attorney representing the DiNardos could not immediately be reached for comment.