Niles murder victim died of blunt force trauma

Niles beating victim

NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – Trumbull County Coroner Dr. Humphrey Germaniuk ruled on Thursday that Niles murder victim Marie Belcastro, 94, died from blunt force trauma.

Her daughter, who went to the 509 Cherry St. home to check on her, found her mother and called 911. Part of the 911 tape is very disturbing, so our station is not airing it.

Jacob Larosa, 15, was arrested shortly after the crime and was charged Wednesday with aggravated murder. WKBN 27 First News Trumbull County Bureau Chief Jeff Levkulich dug up Larosa’s criminal record.

From September of 2013 to the present, Larosa has been named in 19 police reports, many of which involve Larosa running away. But there are other incidents involving breaking and entering, criminal mischief, theft and assault reports.

Most of the reports involve the theft of equipment such as lawn mowers from neighbors. His own family reported that Larosa was stealing items from the home and selling them.

In May of last year, Larosa was the victim of an assault  by  another boy at Bonham School over a pair of Nike shoes. Another report from April of last year reads that Larosa threw a glass mason jar with a candle at his stepsister, causing a 3-inch laceration over her left eye.

In one report, where neighbors complained that Larosa was throwing rocks at cars, police notes state that “his mother always justifies her son’s actions instead of making him take responsibility.”

Now Larosa is facing adult aggravated murder charges and the prospect of life behind bars.

Details from some of the Niles police reports can be seen below:

  • Sept. 4, 2013: Larosa’s mom called police around 3:30 a.m. and said he just arrived home and they argued, so he left the house again.
  • Sept. 7, 2013: Larosa’s father came to the police department and told officers his son has recently been running away and hanging out with older individuals who are getting him into trouble. He told police that the night before, his son went to a house on Lafayette Avenue and was forced to smoke marijuana and take valium by a 60-year-old, one-armed man named Al, who threatened to kill Larosa if he did not do the drugs, a police report states. Larosa told his father Al had a silver handgun within reaching distance.
  • Sept. 7, 2013: Larosa’s mom called police at 3:30 a.m. and said he was not in his room like he was supposed to be and she had to call several times that week because he kept leaving the house in the middle of the night, the report states. Larosa returned a short time later, but she told police she still wanted to speak to an officer. By the time officers arrived, Larosa left again, according to the report.
  • Oct. 9, 2013: Police were called to Macali’s Giant Eagle for a shoplifter, who turned out to be Larosa.
  • Jan. 27, 2014 Larosa’s stepfather called police and said his Kindle Fire tablet was missing and he later found it at a pawn shop. He told police he believed Larosa stole it.
  • Jan. 28, 2014: Larosa’s stepfather called police and said he thinks his stepson is stealing items and selling them.
  • April 23, 2014: Larosa’s mom called police and said he was refusing to come home. She told police Larosa was on probation for running away and he was violating his probation. She said Larosa was calling from the McDonald’s on Main Street asking for money and she told him she did not have any, the report states.
  • June 2, 2014: Police were called to the home by Larosa’s stepfather, who said Larosa threw a large glass candle at his 7-year-old sister, causing a 3-inch cut on her forehead above her left eye. Another sibling told police she did not hear an argument and did not believe the attack was provoked, the police report states. Larosa left the house after the incident.
  • June 2, 2014: Officers were called to Niles McKinley High School for a report of three juvenile boys going through the Dumpster and a vehicle in the parking lot. When officers found the three, one of them was Larosa and he admitted being involved in the domestic violence incident earlier in the day and was arrested, the report states.
  • June 20, 2014: A manager at Macali’s Giant Eagle told police video surveillance showed Larosa entering a vehicle in the parking lot and taking money from it. Larosa told police another juvenile forced him into it, the report states.
  • July 21, 2014: A resident of Cherry Street called police to report that Larosa was throwing rocks at him and passing vehicles. In the report, the officer states “mother has been told numerous times how to file and follow up properly with TC JJC however appears to fail to do so. stepfather of Jacob wanted to know if any point she should be held liable. I advised him he is just as liable and they all live as a family. They need to talk with the male’s probation officer and/or supervisor if nothing is being done. Mother always justifies her son’s actions instead of making him take responsibility. I told her the same as well. Jacob is at fault.”
  • Aug. 1, 2014: A lawn mower and gas can were stolen from a garage at 322 Lafayette Ave. Police searched the area for the missing items and saw the lawn mower in the driveway of 502 Lafayette Ave. The homeowner told police his stepson, Larosa, had used it to cut grass the previous day. When questioned, Larosa told police he “cuts someone’s grass who allows him to use the mower,” the police report states. When officers told the resident at 322 Lafayette that the mower was found, he said he sometimes allows Larosa to use the mower and the incident may have been a “miscommunication,” the report states.
  • Aug. 26, 2014: Police were called by a resident of Griffin Street, who said a red-headed juvenile was on his property near his garage and looking at his lawn mower. The juvenile said his lawnmower broke and he wanted to use the caller’s lawnmower to cut the next door neighbor’s property. The juvenile told him he was a Niles football player and he was cutting lawns to make money, so the caller gave him permission to use his lawnmower, the report states. The caller said an hour went by and the juvenile never returned the lawnmower and was no longer cutting his neighbor’s grass. Police said they knew the suspect was Larosa and the lawnmower was returned to the caller. Larosa’s mother told police he already was on house arrest. She also told officers she could not control her son and he “comes and goes as he pleases,” the report sates.


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