Niles teen’s murder trial scheduled for March

Jacob LaRosa is facing several charges including aggravated murder and attempted rape for the death of Marie Belcastro

WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – The case against a Niles teenager accused of brutally murdering his elderly neighbor was supposed to begin next month, but Friday, his attorneys asked for more time to prepare for the case.

“We’ve requested from the state and have had some conversations with the state about some additional discovery we need to properly prepare his case, and that’s the reason for the additional time we’re requesting,” said LaRosa’s attorney, Matt Pence.

Jacob LaRosa is facing several felony charges including aggravated murder and attempted rape for the beating death of 94-year-old Marie Belcastro at her Cherry Street home. He appeared before a judge Friday for the first time since June’s ruling from the Ohio Supreme Court that kept his case from being moved back to a juvenile court.

Trumbull County Assistant Prosecutor Chris Becker said the prosecution is ready to begin.

“Obviously, they feel there are things they need to get ready before trial. The state, as always, is ready to prosecute this case, and we have been ready for some time now,” Becker said.

LaRosa’s trial will now begin in March.

Prior to that, the judge will hear a motion to suppress certain evidence Larosa’s attorneys don’t want admitted to trial. That hearing will be November 21

Becker said even though LaRosa is under 18 and is not eligible for the death penalty, he intends to prosecute it as he would a capital murder case.

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