Trial postponed in Brooke County homicide

WELLSBURG – The trial for a Burgettstown man charged in the shooting death of Jason Lee Pratz has been postponed until March 4.

The case against Rocco Jesse Zuccaro, 28, of Burgettstown was continued at the request of Michael Nogay, his court-appointed attorney.

At a status hearing for the case Tuesday, Nogay said he needed time for investigative work to be done before the trial and asked for it to be postponed until late December of mid-January.

But scheduling conflicts for 1st Judicial Circuit Court Judge Ronald Wilson and Brooke County Prosecutor Joseph Barki III led to the the trial being moved to March.

The trial had been slated for Nov. 13.

In addition to granting the continuance, Wilson adjusted deadlines for various pre-trial motions to reflect the new trial date.

Nogay said he’s also awaiting a report on a psychological evaluation done to determine Zuccaro’s competency to stand trial.

Barki told the court he will need three to four days to present testimony.

Zuccaro has pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder filed by the Brooke County Sheriff’s Department in connection with the shooting death of Pratz. Pratz was found dead in his home on Genteel Ridge on Feb. 19.

Brooke County Sheriff Chuck Jackson has confirmed Zuccaro and Pratz were acquaintances, but he’s not disclosed a motive for the shooting.

Since his arrest, Zuccaro has been held in the Northern Regional Jail in lieu of a $1 million bond set in circuit court.