A plea deal has been completed that will preempt the trial of an Oil City boy accused of shooting and killing his grandparents. The trial was scheduled to begin Monday in Venango County Court in Franklin.
14 year-old Zachary Proper has agreed to enter guilty pleas to two counts of third-degree murder. The pleas will result in a prison term of 35-to-80 years. Proper was sentenced immediately following the acceptance of his plea. He will be given credit for about fifteen months already served. In August, Proper had pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder.
Proper was ordered last July by county President Judge Oliver Lobaugh to be tried as an adult in the deaths of 70 year-old George Fross and 67 year-old Dorothy Fross at the couple’s home in Sandycreek Township in October, 2012. Prosecutors had stated that Proper had confessed to the shootings.
Proper is alleged to have acted in response to negative comments his grandparents had made concerning his mother.
The trial was scheduled to be the first to be tried by Venango County’s new District Attorney, Shawn White, who was sworn into office on Monday. White was to be assisted by his predecessor, Marie Veon, who has had charge of the case since its inception.