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Man Arrested in Brooke Homicide

April 19, 2013
By WARREN SCOTT For The Intelligencer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

A special Brooke County grand jury will be seated to consider the case of a Burgettstown, Pa., man linked to the shooting death of Jason Lee Pratz in McKinleyville in February.

Rocco Zuccaro, 28, of Burgettstown was arrested Wednesday on a fugitive from justice warrant charging him with first-degree murder. He is being held at the Washington County (Pa.) Jail, awaiting a hearing to determine if he will be extradited to West Virginia.

Brooke County Prosecutor Joseph Barki III said Zuccaro, who was arrested without incident, has been considered a suspect for several weeks. The Brooke County Sheriff's Department was working toward his arrest with cooperation of law enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania.

He and Brooke County Sheriff Chuck Jackson said they couldn't offer many details in the case because a special grand jury session will be called to consider probable cause within the next few weeks. Jackson declined to comment on a motive but said Zuccaro and Pratz "were acquaintances. They did know each other."

Pratz, who was 30, was found dead at his home on Genteel Ridge on Feb. 19. Barki said he couldn't comment on the weapon or any evidence collected during the investigation.

Jackson expressed appreciation to Pratz' family, saying they were very patient during the investigation. He said his department took time with the investigation because he didn't want to risk losing evidence needed for its prosecution.

He and Barki said the investigation was conducted by sheriff's Sgt. Darin Hanna and Deputy Micah Knisley, and it and the arrest were done with the assistance of the Washington County Sheriff's Office, Smith Township Police, U.S. Marshals Service and Hancock-Brooke-Weirton Drug and Violent Crime Task Force.

Barki said it is unusual for a special grand jury to be called, but it is necessary "to move the case forward" because the next regular grand jury won't convene until June.

He said as with other Brooke County grand jury sessions, Circuit Court Judge Ronald Wilson will preside.

 
 

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