Zuccaro Found Guilty of First Degree Murder


Rocco Zuccaro has been found guilty of first degree murder for killing Jason Lee Pratz at his home on Genteel  Ridge Road two years ago.

The jury members were taken to the scene of the alleged murder after being selected.

If  you remember, Zuccaro had the entire state on edge during a two and a half day manhunt after escaping from a Weston-area hospital back in March. 



The murder suspect who escaped a Weston-area hospital in March was back in court Monday morning.    

Rocco Zuccaro’s case was continued until July 6 so that he can be taken to Huntington, WV on July 2, for further evaluation. Defense Attorney Mike Nogay also requested a specific doctor be present for the competency hearing who was not there Monday morning. 

During his competency hearing it was discussed that Zuccaro had been admitted to two separate facilities to determine competency. The facility in Columbia, SC says he was eligible for a competency evaluation and found him competent.

Dr. Christi L. Cooper-Lehki who was involved in three evaluations of Zuccaro at William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital testified Monday. She says that he appears to have a full understanding of court process and what his rights are.

Nogay says Zuccaro has a substantial history of psychotic episodes dating back to 2012. Zuccaro was diagnosed with psychosis while at the hospital in Washington, PA winter of 2012 and 2013.

During the past couple of months in a maximum security facility in SC, Zuccaro was cuffed at all times and escorted by two officers at all times and kept in a monitored room.

Judge Ronald Wilson says they will determine where the trial should take place due to publicity. It could be as close as Wetzel County.

Brooke County Prosecutor Joe Barki says this presents a huge problem for the state due to costs of housing witnesses during the trial.

Jury questionnaires went out to about 60 potential jurors for this trial.

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