DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Louisiana

For Immediate Release

Thursday, December 4, 2014
Kenneth Allen Polite, Jr.
, United States Attorney
Contact: Anna Christman

Marrero Man Sentenced to Life Imprisonment after Conviction for Arson Resulting in Death

NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that CYRUS CASBY, age 29, from Marrero, Louisiana, was sentenced today following his conviction at trial for arson resulting in death and injury.

U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon sentenced CASBY to life imprisonment.

CASBY was convicted following a five day trial that concluded on August 16, 2013, with CASBY being convicted of maliciously damaging or destroying by means of fire, 1005 Tallowtree, Apartment “C”, Harvey, Louisiana as charged in the Indictment. The Indictment also charged and the jury found that 19-month-old Cyanna Carto, CASBY’s daughter, and 11-year old Cleveland McGinnis, Jr. died and 10-year-old Jarvis Carto, 32-year-old Janice Carto and Fireman Walter Allen were injured as a direct and proximate result of the fire started by CASBY. The trial vidence showed CASBY repeatedly stabbed Cynthia Carto, Cyanna Carto’s mother, and Janice Carto in an upstairs bedroom of the apartment. Autopsies revealed that Cynthia Carto died as a result of the stab wounds, though Janice Carto survived for a brief time after being stabbed though dying after the fire was initiated. Following the stabbings, CASBY then used an accelerant to start a fire at the top of the second floor stair landing, effectively trapping the remaining occupants in the second floor of the apartment. Autopsies revealed that Cyanna Carto and Cleveland McGinnis, Jr. died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning resulting from smoke inhalation. Jarvis Carto was injured as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning and Fireman Walter Allen was injured while assisting in fire-fighting and rescue efforts.

“We thank the court for imposing a sentence of life,” stated U.S. Attorney Polite. “It is certainly warranted, given Cyrus Casby’s criminal rampage which resulted in several homicides.

Today’s sentence reflects the coordinated efforts of our federal prosecutors, the ATF, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Jefferson Parish Fire Department, and the Harvey Fire Department.”

Assistant United States Attorneys William J. Quinlan, Jr. and Greg Kennedy were in charge of the prosecution.


New Orleans Field Division