Teen charged with beating 94-year-old neighbor to death running out of options


One by one, Jacob Larosa of Niles is running out of defenses for the brutal crimes he’s accused of committing against his elderly neighbor in 2015 when he was 15 years old.

First, a juvenile court judge in November 2015 said Larosa wouldn’t be spared adult consequences, transferring his case to adult court.

Larosa, of Lafayette Avenue, is charged with aggravated murder, attempted rape, aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary in the death of Marie Belcastro, 94.

Judge Sandra Stabile Harwood cited Larosa’s “lengthy history of behavioral issues extending back to early childhood” and history of disregard for treatment or sanctions that have been offered through the juvenile system.

Mental-health professionals evaluated Larosa while his case was still in juvenile court. He was found to have attention deficit disorder, mood disorder and “some mental-health issues” dating back to age 8 – but not mental illness, Judge Stabile Harwood said.

Once he was in adult court, his attorneys again sought to delay or cancel Larosa’s trial on mental-health grounds, asking the judge to rule that Larosa is not competent to stand trial.

But Monday, Judge W. Wyatt McKay of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court ruled Larosa is capable of understanding the charges against him and aiding in his defense and therefore able to stand trial.

Larosa turned 18 on July 27.

That raises the question whether it’s time he leaves the Trumbull County Juvenile Justice Center and goes into the county jail.

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.