Sentencing for Jacob LaRosa, who killed his elderly neighbor in her home in 2015, may be delayed. Attorneys with the Ohio Public Defender’s Office filed a motion with Judge W. Wyatt McKay of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court asking to be given until May 25 to submit a sentencing memorandum.
The attorneys had agreed to file the memorandum by May 11. Judge McKay has not ruled on the request.
LaRosa, 18, of Lafayette Avenue in Niles, murdered his neighbor, Marie Belcastro, 94, in her Cherry Street home March 31, 2015. LaRosa was 15.
LaRosa could get life in prison without the chance of parole or a lesser life sentence after he was convicted of aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary and attempted rape.
Representatives from the Ohio Attorney General’s office, Ohio Department of Aging Director Beverly Laubert and local experts will take part in a Mahoning Valley Anti-fraud-exploitation Senior Forum on Friday at the Austintown Senior Center.
Participants will discuss measures to empower and protect older adults during two panel discussions from 1 to 4 p.m. at the center, 112 Westchester Drive.
The panel will address protection initiatives, and the second panel will discuss advocacy and services available. The event is free.
Former village police Chief John Soldano was sentenced Wednesday to nine months in jail after being convicted of theft in office, The Vindicator’s broadcast partner, 21 WFMJ-TV, reported.
Soldano pleaded guilty to stealing more than $14,000 from the village, some of which came from a fund for low-income families, WFMJ reported.
A judge sentenced him to jail time, to pay restitution and to pay more than $4,000 to cover the cost of an audit that revealed the wrongdoing.
Niles targets spending
After the defeat of the Niles schools 5.85-mill emergency school levy Tuesday, schools Superintendent Ann Marie Thigpen says officials know they have “a lot of work ahead of us” to bring spending down.
Thigpen said school officials already had spoken before the election with the district’s unions about recommendations contained in a performance audit done by the Ohio Auditor’s Office “that could help our district operate more efficiently.”
Thigpen said, “As superintendent, I will continue to work with the board, our treasurer and our unions to analyze ways in which we can continue to make cuts and avoid deficit spending. In the coming weeks, we will work to determine our next steps.”
Councilwoman Anita Davis, D-6th, invites the public to share what is going on in the neighborhood during a “Coffee and Conversation” from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Flambeau Dinner Club, 2308 Market St. Davis will provide an overview of major happenings and will include discussions regarding the city finances and the safety forces.
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