An Ohio judge found an 18-year-old man guilty Tuesday in the 2015 attempted rape and death of his elderly neighbor. Jacob LaRosa pleaded no contest to charges that he tried to rape his 94-year-old neighbor and beat her to death with the help of a flashlight.

LaRosa pleaded no contest to aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, and attempted rape in the March 31, 2015, death of his neighbor Marie Belcastro, according to the Vindicator.

On Tuesday, LaRosa entered the plea, after which Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Judge W. Wyatt McKay in northeast Ohio ultimately found him guilty of the four felony charges. The plea came as jury selection for his trial was to be decided.

LaRosa was 15 years old when he allegedly used a flashlight to beat the 94-year-old woman to death in her Niles residence. Neighbors reportedly told the police at the time the victim knew LaRosa because he used to mow her lawn, WKBN  reported. He had reportedly just been released from a juvenile detention center at the time of the incident.

Investigators claimed blood spatter and bloody footprints were located throughout the woman’s home. According to the station, LaRosa was later found at his home covered in blood, vomiting in the bathroom. Court documents indicated the teen was transported to the hospital because he was incoherent and appeared intoxicated.

A neighbor told WKBN his home surveillance video cameras caught the teen in a nearby alleyway on the day of the alleged murder.

“This was just a horrific, horrific crime scene and a horrific bludgeoning of a woman that, by all accounts, was a wonderful woman. Certainly no one, let alone Mrs. Belcastro, deserved the ending that she got to her life,” prosecutor Chris Becker said.

LaRosa is scheduled to be sentenced in April.

desperate-2293377_1920 Jacob LaRosa was 15 years old when he allegedly used a flashlight to beat his 94-year-old neighbor to death in her Niles residence. Photo: Pixabay

According to the Warren Tribune Chronicle, McKay could sentence the teen in April to life in prison without parole or life with no chance of parole until after 20, 25 or 30 years.

However, in order to determine an appropriate penalty for the accused, the judge is expected to hear arguments from lawyers and review the adult probation department’s background report of LaRosa in a sentence hearing scheduled for April 5 and 6.

The judge went on to order Tuesday the teen should be transferred from the Juvenile Justice Center, where he was kept for almost three years, to a cell in Trumbull County Jail. McKay also revoked LaRosa’s $3 million bond in the case.

In a similar case, in December 2017, a teen from Utah admitted to raping and killing his 12-year-old neighbor in 2015.

Jayden Sterzer, who was 15 years old at the time of the incident, admitted to a count of rape of a child, a first-degree felony, in juvenile court before he also entered a guilty plea to murder, a first-degree felony, and sexual abuse of a child, a second-degree felony, in adult court.