Trial set to begin for Niles teen accused of murdering elderly n - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Trial set to begin for Niles teen accused of murdering elderly neighbor

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Marie Belcastro Marie Belcastro
Jacob Larosa Jacob Larosa
NILES, Ohio -

A murder trial is scheduled to begin today for a Niles teenager whose story has dominated the news headlines for nearly three years.

Fifty-five witnesses have been called to testify in the case of Jacob Larosa who goes on trial in the Trumbull County Courtroom of Judge Wyatt McKay.

Larosa was only fifteen-years-old when he was charged with the attempted rape and murder of 94-year-old Marie Belcastro at her Niles home in March 2015.

Witnesses include investigators, doctors, nurses and neighbors of the Cherry Street woman who authorities say died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head.

According to an affidavit, investigators say that a heavy object was used as a weapon and that Belcastro was repeatedly struck with that object.

The document also says that liquor bottles were missing from Belcastro's home, and video surveillance shows Larosa carrying liquor bottles through the neighborhood.

The police investigation found that Larosa went home the night of murder covered in blood, and told his mother that he had been attacked by three people.

The teen was taken to Saint Joseph Medical Center, but hospital officials told police they found no cuts or other injuries on the boy that would explain why he was covered in blood.

Defense attorneys were unsuccessful in keeping Larosa's case in Juvenile Court.

On Thursday, Judge Wyatt McKay denied a defense motion to exclude some evidence from the trial, including statements Larosa gave to police as well as evidence gathered at Belcastro's and Larosa's homes.

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