Rocco Jesse Zuccaro Murder Trial Continued Until July

The murder trial of Rocco Jesse Zuccaro has been continued until July 15 so the court can confirm his competency to stand trial.

Zuccaro is charged in the death of Jason Lee Pratz, who was found shot to death inside his Genteel Ridge Road home on Feb. 19, 2013. Zuccaro’s attorney, Michael Nogay, previously said the 28-year-old Burgettstown, Pa., resident requires medication for a mental condition.

Nogay also is seeking appointment of a private investigator to look into whether another person may have been involved in Pratz’ murder.

In an earlier filing, Nogay said a witness observed another person in a vehicle near Pratz’ home on Feb. 18, 2013, that later was identified as Zuccaro’s. He also said a second bullet – of a different caliber than the one that killed Pratz – was found near the body.

Regarding the possibility another person was involved, county Prosecutor Joseph Barki III said, “We’ve charged the person we believe evidence shows is responsible.”

Brooke County Sheriff Chuck Jackson has confirmed Zuccaro and Pratz were acquaintances, but has not disclosed a motive for the shooting. Barki said he won’t comment at length on the case because he doesn’t want to prejudice jurors’ opinions.

A status hearing for the case has been set for April 8.