Judge decides Niles teen to be tried as adult in murder trial

acob Larosa expected back in juvenile court in Niles, Ohio

NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – A judge ruled Monday that Niles teenager Jacob Larosa will stand trial as an adult on charges of murdering an elderly woman.

Larosa is facing several felony charges including aggravated murder and attempted rape in the beating death of his 94-year-old neighbor, Marie Belcastro, at her Cherry Street home.

Judge Sandra Harwood issued a stern warning to 16-year-old Jacob Larosa on Monday: “Let me give you fair warning. You best be on your very best behavior. I want to make something really clear to you. I don’t like what I have heard in regards to your continuous infractions down in the Juvenile Detention Center.”

This reprimanding comes after she announced her decision to transfer his case to common pleas court.

Judge Harwood says considering all the relevant facts, testimony, evidence, and Larosa’s history, the factors for the case transfer greatly outweigh those against it.

“The safety of the community requires that he be subject to adult sanctions,” she said.

Prosecutors requested a $3 million bond saying Larosa has walked away from some facilities and in testimony during the hearing last week, even talked about planning an escape.

“We’re looking forward to presenting this case to a grand jury proceeding to prosecution in the adult court,” said Chris Becker, Assistant Prosecutor.

Becker says Judge Harwood’s analysis was detailed and thoughtful and the decision was well-deserved.

“The alleged act was brutal and vicious and the victim dragged throughout her home,” Judge Harwood said.

The attack happened in March, just hours after Larosa was released from the Trumbull County Juvenile Detention Center.

If convicted on these charges, he faces a sentence of life without parole.

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