Dorchester man convicted of shooting another man in the head to keep him from talking to the feds

A federal jury this week convicted Jaquan Casanova of tampering with a witness by attempting to kill him, which could net him up to 30 years in prison, the US Attorney's office in Boston reports.

Casanova proved a poor shot and his target survived.

The two had been involved in a multi-state prostitution ring with a third man, Raymond Jeffreys, also of Dorchester. Jeffreys became convinced that the other man was talking to the feds after he was arrested in New Jersey on federal sex-trafficking charges and got Casanova to shoot him as he sat in a car at Draper and Westville streets in Dorchester, in April, 2013.

Jeffreys was sentenced to 30 years in prison in May of this year, after pleading guilty to tampering with a witness by attempting to kill him, lying to a federal agent and sex trafficking.

Casanova will be sentenced on Sept. 14.

No turning back, officials say: Boston Latin School to get interim headmaster next week

BPS says it will appoint an interim headmaster for Boston Latin School next week as officials begin what they say is a national effort to find a replacement for Lynne Mooney Teta, who resigned this week.

Meanwhile, BPS has yet to say publicly what process it will use to replace Nicole Gittens, who is resigning as headmaster at the O'Bryant School.

In a letter to Boston Latin students, teachers, staff, alumni and parents, Mayor Walsh, School Superintendent Tommy Chang and School Committee Chairman Michael O'Neill said they will not reject Mooney Teta's resignation:

We were asked yesterday if we would rescind Dr. Mooney Teta’s resignation. We want you to know that this was her decision. In no way was she asked to leave. We must respect her wishes. She feels strongly that her stepping down is in the best interest of Boston Latin School and its students.

Their complete letter:

Dear Boston Latin School Community,

Yesterday morning we met with the faculty of Boston Latin School. We want to personally thank the teachers, librarians, nurses, guidance counselors, administrators and all the other staff who took the time to share with us their concerns over the resignations this week of Head Master Lynne Mooney Teta and Assistant Head Master Malcolm Flynn.

Their decisions to leave BLS have left many staff members and students alike feeling a deep loss. Dr. Mooney Teta and Mr. Flynn served the students of Boston Latin School for a combined 64 years, and their dedication and commitment to this great institution are unrivaled. They love Boston Latin, they care deeply about its success, and they have an intimate understanding of the school’s history and cherished traditions. Each of them has contributed immeasurably to their beloved school. We are incredibly grateful for their service.

Boston Latin continues to be an example of academic excellence for the nation. This is because of the entire community -- the students, the faculty, the administrators, the parents, the staff, the alumni, and the City of Boston. We have seen that on display especially this year.

We were asked yesterday if we would rescind Dr. Mooney Teta’s resignation. We want you to know that this was her decision. In no way was she asked to leave. We must respect her wishes. She feels strongly that her stepping down is in the best interest of Boston Latin School and its students.

The leadership team of Boston Public Schools supported the administrators at BLS to address the concerns raised about its racial climate; a number of central office staff have provided extensive counsel, training and resources for the school. However, we understand that some at the school have not felt supported while BLS has come under scrutiny. When students and parents bring forward serious complaints, it is our legal and moral obligation to fully investigate such matters.

We want you to know that you have our full commitment, and the commitment of the Boston Public Schools, to work with the Boston Latin community to ensure that this treasured school remains a shining star, and continues to uphold its longstanding mission of providing a “contemporary classical education as preparation for successful college studies, responsible and engaged citizenship, and a rewarding life.”

Next week the Boston Public Schools will name an interim head master for Boston Latin and announce the process to find a permanent school leader. It is vital for the BLS community to come together and work collaboratively with BPS leadership in order to select a head master who can build upon the progress made by this community, advance the school’s tradition of academic rigor and be a catalyst for creating a nurturing school environment for all.

Tip, DNA lead authorities to identity of man whose body was found on Revere Beach two years ago

A man who told his family he was "going off the grid" and that they "would not see [him] again" has been identified through DNA evidence as the man whose partial remains were found on Revere Beach in 2014, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

Because the man's death is not considered suspicious, the DA's office is not identifying him, except to say he was 31 and living in Cambridge at the time of his disappearance - but with ties to Oklahoma.

The DA's office adds he warned his family of his impending disappearance in a letter in 2013.

When his remains were found on the beach on April 30, 2014, he was wearing 30-inch-waist jeans with a black, braided leather belt and:

He was also wearing boxer shorts bearing an image resembling a Volkswagen Bug with a surfboard on its rooftop.

In 2015, a tipster contacted State Police to suggest the man might have been somebody who disappeared on Oct. 30, 2013. Armed with that information, the DA's office says, State Troopers were able to track down a Tulsa, OK, man who might have been his father, through a national missing-person database. The man provided a DNA sample that proved a familial match to DNA from the body in the beach, the DA's office says.

In a statement, DA Dan Conley says:

With their years of waiting and wondering at an end, I hope this man's loved ones can take some comfort knowing that their son and brother is at peace. I'm grateful to the State troopers, the NamUs personnel, and especially the Good Samaritan tipster involved in this investigation who helped bring answers to this young man's family.

Boston Latin parents rally for headmaster - and a voice in the school's future

Barbara Peterlin and Kristin Johnson at BLS rally.

Some 100 Boston Latin School parents and alumni - and some students - rallied on the steps of the school this morning to show their support for Headmaster Lynne Mooney Teta and Assistant Headmaster Malcolm Flynn - and to demand a seat at the table for discussions on selecting the next headmaster at the exam school.

Barbara Peterlin and Kristin Johnson, both parents, said parents need a voice in determining what's comes next, on behalf of 2,400 students who, they said, now have no idea of what to expect come September.

Parents, alumni and students, many clad in BLS purple, chanted "BLS! BLS!" and also the school motto - "Sumus Primi!" - after first applauding BLS teachers and staff for their work during a difficult week at the end of a difficult year.

Parents also took time to blast the press, urging the assembled members of the media to stop simplistically "misrepresenting" the school as a hotbed of racism.

Boston Latin parents and alumni at rally

Only two black parents attended the rally.

And not all parents are joining the call for Mooney Teta's and Flynn's resignations to be ripped up.

A group calling itself BLS Parents Promoting Equity and Diversity says its members are worried that the outcry over the resignations is overshadowing the legitimate issues raised earlier in the year by the Black at BLS protests. In a statement, group member, BLS parent and BLS alumna Karen Maziarz and other parents write parents should be working together to ensure all BLS students get "a positive learning experience:"

There may be those who are pleased with how things are going at BLS and with its leadership; however, that experience does not negate the lived realities of the students of color who have voiced concerns that are counter to that outlook.  To even suggest, as the outgoing assistant principal has done publicly since he offered his resignation, that there is no merit in any of these allegations or that all is well within BLS, is misguided and dangerous.