Teen murderer gets life in prison for killing elderly Niles woman

Local News

Convicted killer Jacob LaRosa was sentenced to life in prison without parole. He is also required to register as a Tier III sex offender for life.

LaRosa, who is now 19 years old, was convicted in the March 2015 brutal beating death of 94-year-old Marie Belcastro inside her Niles home. Prosecutors say LaRosa also tried to rape the woman. He was 15 years old at the time.

Friday night prosecutors thanked Judge Wyatt McKay plus the hard work of the investigators in this case for a sentence that they say Larosa deserves.

Prosecutors asked the court to give LaRosa the maximum sentence possible, which is life in prison without the possibility of parole.

“A prison term of life without parole in a state penal institution,” said Judge McKay of common pleas court.

And on top of that — 30 additional years for charges of aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, and attempted rape.

All stemming from what happened inside Belcastro’s Cherry Avenue home back in March of 2015.

In court documents, prosecutors said the offenses LaRosa committed were “straight out of a slasher film” and that it is evident there was no motive other than “murder and mayhem for the sake of murder and mayhem.”

“We couldn’t give him the death penalty, Judge McKay thoughtfully, carefully and professionally examined all of the factors and made really the appropriate and the only sentence that he could make that any reasonable person could make, which is life with no parole,” said Chris Becker, assistant prosecutor.

“I have handled well over 150 homicide cases and I can say this is without a doubt one of the top one or two crime scenes that I have ever envisioned,” Becker said.

READ: Details of LaRosa’s crime and how his sentence was decided

LaRosa begged for forgiveness in court during his sentencing. His defense attorneys objected to the sentence and have already said they plan to file an appeal.

According to the defendant’s 54-page sentencing memorandum, the defense team argued that “there is no evidence of irreparable corruption,” saying a sentence of life without parole would be unconstitutional.

“I’m very confident that this case will stand up on any appeal and any challenged that the defense may have,” Becker said.

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