Contact: Ken Daley, Public Information
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Thursday (March 21) secured a murder indictment against a man accused of burning his mother to death inside her New Orleans East home last November.
Erik Beasley was charged with aggravated arson and with a non-capital charge of first-degree murder of his 78-year-old mother Sarah Beasley in the indictment handed up by an Orleans Parish grand jury. Beasley, 40, faces a mandatory lifetime prison sentence if convicted of the murder charge.
Criminal District Judge Camille Buras left unchanged Beasley’s $900,000 bond amount after the indictment was read. Beasley, who has been in custody since Nov. 27, has been housed and receiving treatment at the psychiatric unit of the Elayn Hunt Correctional
Center in St. Gabriel.
According to New Orleans police investigators, Erik Beasley was seen on surveillance video purchasing a pair of one-gallon water jugs from a gas station near his mother’s home around 10:10 p.m. on Nov. 23, 2018. He emptied the jugs on the ground and threw one away, but filled the other with gasoline and left.
Approximately 20 minutes later, Beasley’s father arrived to find a fire burning inside the family’s single-story home in the 4700 block of Corinne Street. Sarah Beasley was found badly burned and dead inside the living room, amid a stench of gasoline and near an empty gallon-sized jug.
The Orleans Parish Coroner’s office determined that Sarah Beasley was alive when the fire began and died from smoke inhalation.
Assistant District Attorney Inga Petrovich presented the case to the grand jury.
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