Trial scheduled for Niles teen accused of murdering neighbor - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Trial scheduled for Niles teen accused of murdering neighbor

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Jacob Larosa at his hearing in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Jacob Larosa at his hearing in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court
WARREN, Ohio -

The defense withdraws their motion to determine competency in the case of teenage murder suspect Jacob Larosa.

So now the Niles' teens trial date is set, but his attorneys are still hoping to have some evidence in the case thrown out.

Jacob Larosa has been sitting in the Juvenile Detention Center on a $3-Million bond and he is now 18.

At a hearing that was supposed to determine his competency in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court, his defense attorney asked that to withdraw a motion to determine his competency.

Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Judge Wyatt McKay then told the court Larosa is presumed competent to stand trial and set a trial date of February 12, 2018.

The teenager who was just 15-years-old when he was charged with the murder of his elderly neighbor 94-year-old Marie Belcastro back on March 15, 2015 will now stand trial as an adult.

If he is convicted he could receive life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Judge McKay has denied a request by Larosa's attorneys to split the case so that there's a trial phase and a sentencing phase.

The defense was hoping to give the jury the ultimate say in sentencing if Larosa was convicted, when a judge has that mandatory obligation in these cases according to the ruling.

However, Judge McKay did agree that a separate sentencing hearing could be held to allow testimony from anyone with information relevant to the imposition of sentence.

The defense has also asked the judge to consider throwing out evidence seized from Larosa's hospital room and at his home.  They also want the judge to throw out statement's made to police on March 31, 2015, shortly after the murder, when Larosa was admitted to the hospital.  The defense says at the time Larosa was severely intoxicated and his attorney and his parents were not allowed in his room, that's according to court documents.

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