Solebury Slayings Defense Attorney Announces Run Against Philly DA Krasner

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An attorney central to the trial of the Solebury Slayings is running for political office in Philadelphia.

Defense Attorney Charles Peruto Jr. walks in the Bucks County Justice Center during a break in the trial of Sean Kratz. Photo by Rick Rickman.

Charles Peruto Junior is running as a Republican to take on Philly District Attorney Larry Krasner.

In November 2019, Charles Peruto Junior ran the defense team for convicted murderer Sean Kratz.

Despite a strong performance from Peruto, a jury found Kratz guilty of helping his cousin Cosmo DiNardo to kill four young men from Bucks County.

Peruto was fighting an uphill battle. He took over the fractured defense after a Kratz’s former attorney stepped down, then had to try to get the jury to discount a confession tape.

He says offenders view the justice system as a revolving door under Krasner, who stopped cash bail for nonviolent crimes.

Another attorney has thrown his hat into the ring to take Krasner’s position. Chris Vega worked at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office until Krasner fired him and 30 other experienced attorneys upon taking office.

Peruto says he is running with the specific intent of unseating Krasner. If Vega wins the Democratic primary, Peruto says he will stop running.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the defense attorney was a lifelong Democrat who voted for Krasner in 2017. But he changed parties last year “out of disgust for how the District Attorney’s Office now operates.”

Peruto is not alone in his criticisms of Krasner. Former U.S. Attorney Williams McSwain said Krasner’s policies “coddle violent criminals.”

“These policies create a culture of lawlessness; they leave criminals emboldened; and they have inevitable consequences – one of which is a murder rate in Philadelphia that is the highest it has been in nearly 15 years.”

Krasner won the Democratic primary in 2017 with just 38 percent of the vote. He received no newspaper endorsements. However, a political action committee supporting him got a $1.5 million donation from billionaire George Soros three weeks before the election.

Given the city’s political disposition, candidates who win the Democratic primary almost always win the general election. Philadelphia has nearly seven times as many registered Democrats as Republicans.

The city has 1,058,000 registered voters as of the 2020 General Election. 805,532 of them are Democrats, while just 121,917 are Republican.