FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF
MASSACHUSETTS Hon. Denise J. Casper, U.S. District Judge
Chauncey B. Wood, with whom Eva Jellison, Meredith Shih, and
Wood & Nathanson, LLP were on brief, for appellant.
Randall E. Kromm, Assistant United States Attorney, with whom
William D. Weinreb, Acting United States Attorney, was on
brief, for appellee.
Lynch, Stahl, and Kayatta, Circuit Judges.
an eight-day jury trial, Jaquan Casanova was convicted of
tampering with a witness (Darian Thomson) by attempting to
kill him (and almost succeeding), in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 1512(a)(1)(C), and of making false statements to a
federal agent, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001.
appeal, Casanova asks this court to reverse his conviction
and raises three unpreserved claims of error, described
below. We affirm. We reiterate that criminal defendants do
not ordinarily have a right to individual voir dire of every
prospective juror as to potential racial bias, whether in
lieu of or in addition to group voir dire. See United
States v. Parker, 872 F.3d 1, 8 (1st Cir. 2017). Here,
the district court individually questioned at sidebar any
prospective juror who had expressed racial bias during group
voir dire. There was no plain error.
recount the relevant facts "in the light most favorable
to the verdict." United States v. Van Horn, 277
F.3d 48, 50 (1st Cir. 2002) (citing United States
v. Escobar-de Jesus, 187 F.3d 148, 157 (1st
Cir. 1999)). On the evening of April 30, 2013, Boston police
officers investigating a report of a gunshot in Dorchester,
Massachusetts found a man later identified as Darian Thomson
in the driver's seat of a parked car, bleeding from a
head wound. The individual who had alerted the
authorities, Shaqukurra Thomas, reported that she had been in
the passenger's seat when Thomson was shot. In an
interview with investigators later that evening, and again at
Casanova's trial, Thomas recounted the events leading up
to the attack. Her account at trial was supplemented by the
testimony of two other witnesses: Anthony Harris and
afternoon of April 30, Thomas met with Thomson, whom she had
first met a few days earlier. After driving around Dorchester
and Mattapan for a few hours, the two of them visited Raymond
Jeffreys, purportedly Thomson's "friend, " at
Jeffreys's apartment in Roxbury. There, Thomson and
Thomas briefly socialized with Jeffreys, Lungelow, Harris,
and Casanova -- none of whom Thomas had previously met.
led a multi-state sex-trafficking organization, a
drug-dealing business, and a fraudulent check-cashing
operation. Lungelow was a prostitute who worked for Jeffreys
at the time. Harris was Jeffreys's childhood friend.
Casanova was longtime friends with Harris and Jeffreys,
occasionally sold drugs for Jeffreys, and had reportedly told
Harris that he would "do anything for [Jeffreys]."
As for Thomson, he ran a sex-trafficking operation of his
own, but at times partnered with Jeffreys and shared
information with him. Earlier in 2013, Jeffreys had told
Harris and others that he suspected Thomson was a "rat,
" i.e., a government informant, who was
"snitching" on him.
Jeffreys's apartment, Harris saw Jeffreys and Casanova
talking in the kitchen and observed Jeffreys pat his waist,
raise his left arm, and make a shooting motion with his hand.
Shortly thereafter, Jeffreys asked Thomson to take Harris to
McDonald's. Thomson drove Thomas, Harris, and Casanova to
a nearby McDonald's in Dorchester, and Harris went inside
to order food. When Harris returned, Casanova stated that he
wanted to "pick up something from his boy" and
instructed Thomson to park the car at an intersection nearby.
Casanova then got out of the car, shot Thomson through the
driver's seat window, and fled from the scene with
did not know, and was initially unable to identify, any of
the individuals involved in the shooting other than the
victim. On May 1, she was presented with a photo array that
did not contain pictures of any of the defendants; she did
not identify anyone in the array. That same day, Jeffreys was
questioned by investigators and admitted that Thomson had
visited his apartment on the afternoon of April 30th and had
left with a woman and two men, but he claimed that he did not
know their identities. The investigation continued.
two years later, the police presented Thomas with a second
photo array. Thomas stated that one of the photographs,
depicting Casanova, looked somewhat like the shooter, but she
expressed doubt because she recalled the shooter as having a
tattoo on his neck whereas Casanova's picture did not
show any tattoo. When Casanova was interviewed by law
enforcement in January 2015, "he denied knowing Jeffreys
well, denied having seen Jeffreys since 2011, and denied
knowing where Jeffreys lived in 2013."
ultimately concluded that Casanova was the shooter and that
Harris was the man who had accompanied him in the back seat
of Thomson's car. Security footage from the
McDonald's to which Thomson had driven on the night of
the shooting showed a man matching Thomas's description
entering the restaurant and interacting with an employee.
That employee identified Harris as the man in the
surveillance video. Harris, testifying at trial pursuant to
an immunity agreement, in turn identified Casanova as the
individual who had traveled to the McDonald's with him,
Thomson, and Thomas, and as the individual who later shot
Thomson. Lungelow corroborated Harris's account,
testifying that Jeffreys had told her on the evening of April
30th that Casanova and Harris had "handled the
situation" by shooting Thomson because he was
"ratting." Finally, forensic investigators analyzed
prints collected from certain items recovered from the inside
of Thomson's car the day after the shooting, and
determined that some belonged to Harris and one belonged to
April 16, 2015 a grand jury returned a twenty-five count
third superseding indictment charging Casanova, Jeffreys, and
Corey Norris (a friend and associate of Jeffreys) with
multiple crimes. Norris and Jeffreys faced various counts of
sex trafficking and related offenses. The indictment charged
Casanova and Jeffreys with tampering with a witness by
attempting to kill Thomson, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
1512(a)(1)(C), and conspiracy to engage in the same, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1512(k), and charged Casanova
with making false statements to a federal agent regarding his