Cyrus Casby of Marrero, LA was acquitted in 2008 of killing 4 people including his 19-month old daughter. On November 10, 2004 he set the apartment on fire after stabbing his 17yo girlfriend Cynthia Carto 21 times and slashing 3 other victims, 19 mo Cyanna Carto, 33yo Janice Carto and Janice Carto’s 11yo son Cleveland McGinnis. He also injured her 10yo son Jarvis Carto. The boy was left with irreversible brain damage due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Casby was also charged with injury to a firefighter Walter Allen.
At his trial, Jefferson Parish prosecutors presented evidence showing a witness spotted Casby fleeing the scene of the fire. Prosecutors said Casby went to his parents’ home in Marrero, and in a neighbor’s backyard, they found Casby’s clothing soiled with gasoline and blood matching one of the victims. Casby returned to the fire scene later, where he was arrested and confessed to detectives that he acted in self defense.
Casby claimed during four hours of interrogation, he was beaten, choked and shocked with a Taser. He gave three recorded statements. The jury never got a clear explanation of what happened when the tape recorder was off. Defense attorney Jim Williams questioned it and asked detectives why there was no video which may have been problematic for the jurors. However, it is not the policy of Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office to use video to record interrogations, only audio.
Nevertheless, among the 325 pieces of evidence, a confession, an eyewitness and victim’s DNA on clothing linking Casby to the November 10, 2004 stabbing and arson, this was not enough. A jury deliberated an hour and 40 minutes before acquitting him of all four counts of second degree murder. Surprisingly, only two jurors voted for conviction.
Cyrus Casby’s freedom was short lived. In late July 2011, he was paid a visit by the Feds.
In a rarely used maneuver prosecutors reserve for cases that “cry out for another prosecution” the Federal authorities have re-indicted Cyrus Casby. He was found living in another state when he got the good news.
His attorney, Jim Williams said he was shocked to find out he had been indicted by the Federal court.
Prior to Casby’s trial, defense attorney ex-prosecutor, Jim Williams represented another young defendant charged with multiple murders named Troy DeRosa.
Troy DeRosa was accused of killing 3 people and attempting to kill a 4th during a home invasion on Nov. 23, 2003. Jim Williams, with lawyer Brian Evans won an acquittal for DeRosa eight months earlier which was one of the reasons the Casby family hired him. Both Casby and DeRosa claimed they were beaten, coerced confessions with threats and physical abuse.
Mr. DeRosa’s freedom didn’t last 24 hours. One day after being acquitted of the Metairie triple murder, Troy DeRosa was booked with a 2000 killing of a disabled man in his Kenner home. The city of Kenner is also part of Jefferson Parish.
Kenner police filed a first-degree murder charge against DeRosa in the death of Howard Delahoussaye, a horse trainer who was shot five times in the head and shoulders. Delahoussaye, who had no legs, was found slumped over a chair in his living room at 632 Ronson Drive on April 8, 2000. Police think it was a drug-related homicide.
But in March 2008, prosecutors, apparently faced with witnesses who were jailed, were unable to bring the case to a grand jury, leading a judge to order DeRosa released on the charge.
Jefferson Parish much like Orange County, were not prepared for these scandalous acquittals especially when Casby’s trial in May 2008 came to an end. Both of these cases were high-profile, multiple-murders. Both were lost within an eight month period of September 2007- May 2008.
Orange County felt the burn much like Jefferson Parish when the city of Kenner immediately charged DeRosa with a 7 year old murder case after his acquittal. After Anthony’s acquittal, Orange County immediately went to miscounting her days to freedom subsequent her July 5th acquittal. Even though she had served nearly 3 years in a locked cell, in solitary confinement, they refused to allow her to walk out of the front door of the courthouse as her attorney Cheney Mason predicted. As I recall, it was first announced her release date would be July 13th but the next day it changed to July 17th.
From there it went to her having Casey Anthony serve a second probation even though there were documents proving she served probation while in jail for unrelated check fraud charges.
Judge Stan Strickland, a recused judge of her case claimed his orders were misunderstood. He claimed he ordered Casey to start probation on the day she was released from jail. Her acquittal was something he obviously did not consider. This order was fought in court. This order was lost in court. Casey Anthony is now in her 2nd month of one-year probation.
What seems like more vindictiveness, Casey Anthony now has to pay over $217,000 to Orange County Florida. This is for the time and money spent used to search for her daughter Caylee when she lied to detectives before being informed of her Miranda rights.
What are those magic words?
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to be speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during any questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you at government expense.”
I wonder if Casey Anthony had heard those words at Universal Studios, if she would have continued to talk to that nice cop Appie Wells? Or those two mean cops Melich and Allen? Probably not, I think hearing those words, Casey Anthony would have used her good sense and kept her mouth shut. She was playing nice girl because she thought they were being nice to her but I think they knew Caylee Anthony was already dead because of the smell of the car. If I believe that the detectives were telling the truth when they were on the stand and swore Casey’s car trunk smelled like human decomposition then I have to believe the reason for bringing Casey Anthony to Universal Studios was to confront her with her lies and garner a confession. It was supposed to be a really Big Day for OCSO.
Yes, it is human nature to be vindictive. No one likes to lose. Everyone despises murderers, particularly those that involve defenseless children. We all want justice for those whose lives were viciously cut short because of the evil intentions of another individual/s. We are outraged when our judicial system seems to fail us but did it really fail or did it work in the Anthony case?
After those two shocking acquittals, Jefferson Parish justice authority pondered the questions “why” and “how” did this happen in 2007-2008. They checked the percentages of the past few years.
In 2007, 81% were found guilty. In 2006, there was a 93% conviction rate, a spike from 2005 when the courts operated only 8 months of the year because of Hurricane Katrina. In 2005, juries convicted 82%. In 2004, it was 88% conviction.
Presently, there’s another threat lurking in the wings of this never ending Casey Anthony saga. There’s a petition with thousands of signatures begging the Federal government to try her again for the same crime. With news of Cyrus Casby upcoming Federal trial, the petitioners are hopeful Anthony will be retried as well.
Today Anthony is facing various frivolous lawsuits stemming from her “lie” told to detectives during interrogation. Casey Anthony in a recent interview with People Magazine explained she fears for her life while living in the United States and may have to move out of the country.
Although both Anthony and Casby were accused and acquitted of horrendous crimes and both high-profile cases, in Casby’s case there is physical evidence unlike Anthony’s.
As for Casey Anthony, although some are hopeful that the Outcry Petition will be fruitful, I beg to disagree. In the Cyrus Casby quadruple murder case there’s a confession, there’s victim DNA on his clothing, and an eye witness who saw him fleeing the scene. In the Anthony case there is none of the above, only a heart wrenching story of a beautiful child who is no longer with us, Caylee Anthony. There seems to be no end in sight for Casey Anthony.
Citizens Beware; Being acquitted isn’t as sweet as it seems
If you are accused of a crime against a child regardless of shoddy evidence, lack of DNA, fingerprints or eye witnesses it seems you’re doomed to suffer a lifetime of hatred. I’m not sure if that’s fair to any United States citizen.
The justice system should be accountable for their indictments and ensure that when they accuse someone of a crime that they have it right the first time and not hinge on the coattails of the victim’s innocence to garner sympathy and outrage in order to attain a conviction.
District Attorney Paul Connick Jr. alludes to what prosecutors call the “CSI Effect,” in which some people have skewed views of the criminal justice system based on what they see in popular television crime dramas.
Mr Connick, (cousin to Harry Connick Jr) added, “They develop what I would say are unrealistic expectations with regard to the collection and examination of evidence in cases,” he said. “And it could be one or two jurors who sway others who don’t watch the show. It’s not what’s supposed to happen.”
Incidentally, I most likely would be one of those two jurors.
Here we are in 2011 and with a ridiculous amount of scientific studies and forensic methodology, getting away with murder isn’t simply getting rid of witnesses and changing the color of your hair. Eye witness testimony is one of the major reasons that the Innocence Project exist. Being an eye witness can be a self serving act if the individual is in need of a favor. No one wants to go to prison, so things can be worked out. It’s the nature of the business.
Before the “CSI Effect” there were fictional law enforcement characters such as Dirty Harry and Popeye Doyle when we sat in movie theaters and applauded their actions. We all suffered from “The ends justified the means” mentality. In that era we were joyful and happy feeling all warm cozy, thinking we got the Bad Guy.
Thanks to Frank Serpico and his underground investigation into the NYPD, I can’t help but wonder how many possible innocent individuals went to prison in the 70s and 80s on false confessions and lying eye witnesses. We haven’t a clue but with the Innocence Project working hard in every state, we’re slowing finding out.
As of October 27, 2010 there have been 138 exonerations in 26 different States.
Florida 23 Oklahoma 10 Ohio 5 Mississippi 3 Kentucky 1
Illinois 20 North Carolina 7 New Mexico 4 South Carolina 2 Maryland 1
Texas 12 Pennsylvania 6 California 3 Indiana 2 Nebraska 1
Louisiana 8 Alabama 5 Massachusetts 3 Tennessee 2 Nevada 1
Arizona 8 Georgia 5 Missouri 3 Idaho 1 Virginia 1
There has to be a happy medium somewhere, we just haven’t found it yet.