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.