UPDATED: 1:45 p.m.
"This criminal saga is now over," said Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub after Sean Kratz was given life in prison plus 18-36 years.
Weintraub said the decision was based in part on the verdict. Kratz was found guilty of murder for killing Dean Finocchiaro, but two manslaughter convictions in the deaths of Mark Sturgis and Tom Meo meant those deaths would not weigh in as heavily in arguments for the death penalty.
Weintraub also said they heard Kratz on prison phone calls "saying 'I hope I get the death penalty, because then I’ll get the federal defenders, and then I’ll be notorious. And people will know who I am and I’ll go in a blaze of glory and I’ll never be put to death anyway.'"
Weintraub says in conversations with the family there was consensus to skip the death penalty. He quoted Anthony Finocchiaro, Dean's dad: "If we grant the defendant his life, by our grace, he doesn’t get to win."
Mark Sturgis' mom said Mark should be celebrating his 25th birthday this month and blowing out candles with the help of his youngest sister, "who was always adoringly at his side."
Anthony Finocchiaro, Dean's father, said Dean's birthday is a week before Christmas. "We don’t celebrate Christmas anymore," he said.
As Bucks County Judge Jeffrey Finley handed down a life sentence plus 18-36 years in prison, he told Kratz: "I’ve watched these families, see the pain on their faces … Then you sitting there vacant. You haven’t seen the harm, the pain, the impact your actions caused."