UPDATE | LaRosa apologizes to Belcastro family; daughters not swayed


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WARREN

The last two people to speak at the conclusion of a sentencing hearing today for Jacob LaRosa were the two daughters of Marie Belcastro, the woman LaRosa killed three years ago in her Niles home.

Victim Statement in LaRosa Case

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Karen Kirk, daughter of Marie Belcastro, gives a victim statement to Judge W. Wyatt McKay in the case against Jacob LaRosa. Video by Ed Runyan - The Vindicator

"I thank God that Jacob LaRosa could not be put to death so that every day for the rest of his life he will remember my mother, what she did for him and what he did to her," Karen Kirk told Judge W. Wyatt McKay in her victim impact statement.

"It is my belief that Jacob LaRosa is incorrigible and unredeemable. He needs to be locked up for life, not just for punishment, not just just for example, but more importantly to protect society from evil, from his predatory nature. He cannot be allowed to roam the streets ever again. I pray for a life sentence without parole."

Judge McKay will issue a decision on LaRosa's sentence in about a month.

LaRosa also spoke.

"To this day, I live with so many regrets and have to learn how to overcome them," he said, standing before Judge McKay.

"I made so many wrong choices and hurt so many people because of the choices and addiction I had. It deeply hurts me to think of all of the horrible things I've done to my family and the people I live around," he said.

"I am sorry for what I did and I hope and pray that the Belcastro family and everyone else can reach down in their hearts and forgive me."

Earlier today in testimony, Megan Lucariello, LaRosa''s motherr, and Kaela Grammer, LaRosa's older sister, testified.

Grammer said it was difficult for her and her brother growing up in their home because of the lack of contact they had with their biological father and not having someone to talk to.

"I always was angry and depressed," Grammer said. "I couldn't understand why I couldn't have a relationship with somebody."

She said LaRosa hung around with a bad crowd of people.

"My brother needed more attention that he could get," she said. "I think he wanted attention from people even if it was bad."

She said she still thinks her brother is "a good person" and asked the family of Marie Belcastro to forgive him one day.

LaRosa pleaded no contest to killing Belcastro, 94, March 31, 2015, in her home on Cherry Street in Niles. Today's testimony in his aggravated murder case is to help Judge W. Wyatt McKay of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court determine LaRosa's prison sentence.

Grammer added, "I always told Jacob 'Just wait until I'm 18, and we'll be out of here. I'll get custody of you.'"

Lucariello testified that her son had taken a large number of psychiatric medications throughout his childhood, and she agreed under cross examination that he had received counseling through about a half dozen facilities.

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