An Ohio judge found an 18-year-old man guilty Tuesday of the 2015 attempted rape and beating death of his elderly neighbor.
According to The Vindicator, Jacob LaRosa pleaded no contest to aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, and attempted rape in the March 31, 2015, slaying of Marie Belcastro, 94. Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Judge W. Wyatt McKay ultimately found him guilty of the four felony charges.
LaRosa was 15 when he used a flashlight beat the nonagenarian to death in her Niles home. Neighbors told police that the victim knew LaRosa because he used to mow her lawn, WKBN reported.
— Lindsay McCoy (@LindsayWFMJ) February 13, 2018
Investigators claimed that blood spatter and bloody footprints were located throughout Belcastro’s home. According to the station, LaRosa was later found at his home with blood on his hands and underwear and vomiting in the bathroom. Court documents indicated that the teen was transported to the hospital because he was incoherent and appeared intoxicated.
A neighbor told WKBN that his home video cameras caught LaRosa in a nearby alleyway on the day in question.
“This was just a horrific, horrific crime scene and a horrific bludgeoning of a woman that, by all accounts, was a wonderful woman. Certainly no one, let alone Mrs. Belcastro, deserved the ending that she got to her life,” prosecutor Chris Becker said.
According to the Warren Tribune Chronicle, McKay could sentence LaRosa in April to life in prison without parole or life with no chance of parole until after 20, 25 or 30 years. To determine an appropriate penalty, the judge will hear arguments from lawyers and review the adult probation department’s background report of LaRosa.
The judge went on to order that LaRosa be transferred from the Juvenile Justice Center to Trumbull County Jail, revoking his $3 million bond.
[Featured Image: Marie Belcastro/Joseph Rossi & Sons Funeral Home]