Judge rules evidence can stay in Niles teen’s murder trial

A Trumbull County judge has denied a motion from Jacob Larosa's attorneys to suppress evidence in his murder trial

Jacob LaRosa, the 16 year old accused of killing his elderly neighbor, appeared in Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas on Friday, just three days after the 11th District Court of Appeals denied his attorney's motion questioning Judge Sandra Stabile Harwood's decision to move his case into the adult system.

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – A Trumbull County judge has denied a motion from a Niles teen’s attorneys to suppress evidence in his murder trial.

Judge Wyatt McKay is allowing evidence that Niles police officers obtained during their investigation into the murder of 94-year-old Marie Belcastro.

Authorities say 17-year-old Jacob Larosa beat the woman to death in her Cherry Street home.

The evidence collected includes items taken from Larosa and his home on the day of the murder, as well as statements he made to police.

Prosecutors agreed not to use the statement Larosa gave to police after he was taken to the hospital, but they said other statements he made to police were not a result of questioning by law enforcement. According to investigators, Larosa muttered, “They’re going to kill me for this” when he was found, partially clothed and covered in blood.

Larosa’s attorneys questioned the seizure of Larosa’s underwear and socks while he was being treated in the hospital. Judge McKay ruled that there is no expectation of privacy in clothing or personal effects removed from a suspect who voluntarily goes to a hospital purporting to be a victim.

Larosa was taken to the hospital because he was heavily intoxicated and incoherent, according to court records.

Judge McKay’s entry says investigators with the Niles Police Department testified at a hearing, but the defendant did not testify nor present any witnesses in support of his motion.


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