Prosecutors called Sean Kratz’s mother to the stand in an effort to show he knew exactly what he was agreeing to before he gave a full confession in April 2018.
About three weeks later, Kratz was set to plead guilty to third-degree murder and other charges in exchange for a 59- to 118 -year prison sentence, but he backed out at the last minute.
According to his mother, Kratz didn’t realize 59 years in prison was the best he could get under the agreement until another member of his defense team went to visit him just days before the plea was to be finalized.
But as part of that plea deal, he gave a full confession. Prosecutors want to use that confession against him, but his current attorney argues Kratz was misled by prior counsel, and therefore that confession should be tossed.
His mother testified she sat in on a meeting with Kratz and his prior lawyer and, while several potential prison sentences were discussed, nothing was ever specific, and they were told if the plea didn’t go forward, the confession wouldn’t be used.
The judge will rule later this month. Kratz’s trial has not been scheduled.
Kratz’s cousin, Cosmo Dinardo, went through with his guilty plea and is serving four consecutive life sentences.