Niles teen pleads no contest to slaying of 94-year-old woman

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Jacob LaRosa (Photo courtesy: Trumbull County Sheriff's Office)

WARREN, Ohio— An 18-year-old Ohio man has pleaded no contest to charges that he tried to rape his 94-year-old neighbor and beat her to death with a flashlight.

Jacob LaRosa entered the plea to aggravated murder and attempted rape charges, and was found guilty Tuesday in northeast Ohio’s Trumbull County. The plea came as jury selection for his trial was about to begin.

Authorities say LaRosa killed Maria Belcastro in March 2015 at her home in Niles. LaRosa, who was 15 at the time, had just been released from a juvenile detention center. He was arrested after stumbling home covered with blood. Efforts to keep LaRosa’s case in Juvenile Court were unsuccessful.

Sentencing is scheduled to begin April 5.

LaRosa’s attorney declined to comment Tuesday.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.