Jury selection begins in trial of Jacob Larosa - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Jury selection begins in trial of Jacob Larosa

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WARREN, Ohio -

The Niles teen accused of murdering his elderly neighbor goes before a judge this week to be tried as an adult.

The jury selection process began Monday morning for the trial of 18-year-old Jacob Larosa.

Larosa was just 15-years-old when he was charged in the death and rape of 94-year-old Marie Belcastro. 

Despite multiple attempts to keep the trial from taking place in adult court and some of the evidence out, the case will move forward in Judge Wyatt McKay's courtroom.

Most of the those in the jury pool admitted to the judge that they had either read or watched news coverage of the 2015 Niles murder case. 

Some were even dismissed after claiming they had already formed opinions and didn't think they could be an impartial jury member.

Niles Police Detectives, who handled the investigation, are preparing to testify.

They say Belcastro was hit multiple times with an object and died of blunt force trauma the same night Larosa went home covered in blood. While Larosa went home and claimed he was attacked, hospital officials later found no cuts or injuries to the teen.

Belcastro's family sat in the back the courtroom during jury questioning Monday. At least of the victim's two daughters is expected to take the stand. 

Once selected, jury members will be taken to view Belcastro's Cherry Avenue home in Niles and the surrounding area before opening statements begin on Tuesday.

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