|It’s August 20, 2012 and Dessa Eason is still
mourning the loss of her son, Jovany, whom the kids called
"Jo-Jo." It’s been a full three years since the shooting took
place at Ka Karlos on Hancock Street in 2009. Today, she was
looking over the photos taken on August 2 at the street memorial for
her son at Bird and Hancock, and she is feeling overwhelmed.
"Is it because of the wonderful friends you have? Is it because of the loss? What is causing you to feel overwhelmed?"
"Just to see the people that were there at the memorial," she said,
"not only adults but the children and especially the youth. It
wasn't just a mother's loss. It’s the kids that lost my son, too, and
that remember him."
Jovany Eason was well liked by everyone and popular both as a lifeguard
and a counselor at the Holland Community Center on Geneva Avenue.
His daily routine was to sleep until noon, then go to his job for a
1-9pm shift until the pool closed.
On the day of the double murder, Dessa was out-of-town. What she
has been told is that Jovany was at home with his cousin expecting
company. He got a phone call, about what nobody knows. He
headed over to Ka Karlos and before leaving said he would be right back
in ten minutes. "So leave the air conditioner on." Ka Karlos was
considered a safe place because it was owned by Jovany’s godfather, Mr.
"From the videotapes, they just show him inside the club talking.
There was an altercation. One of the guys was saying something to one
of his friends about why are you hanging with him? My son said
something about: ‘You don't know me. Why would you say something like
that?’ From there, it escalated."
The chef who got killed is Manny Monteiro, a close friend of
Dessa. He was in his early 50s, caught in crossfire. He had two
daughters, grandchildren and a wife. His body was sent back to Cape
Verde. The family had a sense that was home for him and that he
should be buried there.
Dessa said she lights candles down at 33 Hancock Street for
Manny. "You don't want people to forget about him. He was a
beautiful guy and he was just trying to make the peace that night, lock
up and keep people from coming back into the club."
It took a full two years for the court proceedings. The two guys
that were involved in the shooting were convicted last September.
"Does it help that they were convicted?" Dessa asked. "Does it
ease the pain? No, it doesn't because their family is hurting, too. One
of the kids I found out had never been in trouble before. I've talked
to the parents of the kids who did it. Nobody wins. It hurt both sides
and we are both the same nationality, Cape Verdean. So, that hurts even
more. Any killing is not tolerated. But when it happens to your own . .
. They came here from Cape Verde to make it better for themselves and
better for their race. Something like this just devastates everyone,
not just my son, but the community as a whole."
Could any good have come of this senseless shooting?
Dessa talks with other parents who have lost their children and
comforts them in a way that only someone who also has lost a child can.
She also believes that the shock of Jo-Jo’s death has stopped a lot of
the kids in this area from repeating this type of violence.
Getting these kids off the street is a rallying cry for Dessa - so they
don't have these kinds of thoughts in their heads. "I fight for getting
more people out in the street talking with the kids and letting them
know that they don't have to be out here. Just the thought of having
them doing nothing when there's so many things that they can get
involved with – it drives me crazy."
Dessa is grateful for the many people in the community who have reached
out to her in her pain. Of Isaura Mendes, she said: "She is
a very good friend of mine. I personally knew her sons. She was the
first person who was at my door. Every time I do anything, she's
right there for me."
Tina Chery is another wonderful person. "Tina spoke at a memorial
for my son. I support her by participating in the Mother’s Day peace
"Both Isaura and Tina have a very big following because the loss I
suffered did not just happen to me but it has happened to hundreds of
mothers and families that live here. The event – the two murders
– occurred three years ago, but it’s still fresh."
Jovany Mario Eason, may he rest in peace.
You can contact Dessa Eason via email: email@example.com
Or you can comment here at Uphams Corner News, and we will forward your comments to her.
Dessa's Sister, Gertrude
|Students from the Holland Community Center who knew Jo-Jo
Aria, Dessa's niece who earlier lost her brother David
Monica works at the Holland School
Monica's sister also works at the Holland School
|The day after the Street Memorial
|Posted: September 3, 2012 Nancy J Conrad