Family members of those who were murdered are calling Senate bill 256 'a cruel slap in the face.'

The family of Marie Belcastro is upset with a new Ohio law that took effect Monday that says juveniles who were given sentences of "life in prison," like Belcastro's assailant Jacob Larosa, can now be given a chance for parole.

21 News spoke with Brian Kirk, the grandson of Belcastro Friday who said this new law has upended the life of his family.

"They are punishing the survivors and the victim's family, friends and loved ones!" said Kirk.

Marie Rose Belcastro, 94, was brutally murdered in her Niles home on March 31, 2015.
A then 15-year-old Jacob Larosa was found guilty of that murder and sentenced to life plus 31 years in prison without the possibility of parole.

As of Monday, that has changed. The new law will allow Larosa to be eligible for parole.

Kirk says the family had closure and relief when the sentence was handed down. Now that closure is gone.

"What if Jacob holds a grudge against me or my family?  Maybe we are potential targets down the road. I don't know because it wasn't something I had to even consider. Now it's something I'll be thinking about every single day," said Kirk.

Kirk hopes the public will see what has been done and demand the new law be changed whether through a lawsuit or through a referendum.

"To put convicted criminal rights above innocent surviving victims and potential future victims is the upside-down world insane," added Kirk.

This new law has also affected a trial currently underway in Mahoning County.

Brandon Crump Jr. is accused of the murder of 4-year-old Rowan Sweeney.

Prosecutor Paul Gains tells 21 News he's furious that if Crump is found guilty, he would be eligible for parole instead of staying in prison.