Here’s what has happened so far in the Karen Read murder trial

Here’s what has happened so far in the Karen Read murder trial
Here’s what has happened so far in the Karen Read murder trial

DEDHAM – Monday marks a day off from proceedings in the Karen Read murder trialbut plenty has happened so far since witness testimony began three weeks ago.

Read is charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter while operating under the influence of alcohol, and leaving the scene of personal injury and death. Her trial has been taking place inside Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham, Massachusetts.

Prosecutors allege that Read hit her boyfriend, Boston police officer John O’Keefe, with her SUV and left him to die during a snowstorm in January 2022.

Read’s defense says O’Keefe was not hit by a vehicle and was instead killed during a fight inside retired Boston police officer Brian Albert’s 34 Fairview Road home in Canton, then dragged outside.

Karen Read listens as Canton Police Sergeant Michael Lank is questioned by defense attorney Alan Jackson on May 6, 2024.

Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Karen Read murder trial gets underway

After opening statements on April 29, testimony got underway in the high-profile trial.

Two of O’Keefe’s family members were first on the witness stand, followed by several Canton first answers.

Multiple paramedics testified that they heard Read saying some version of “I hit him” after O’Keefe’s body was found.

Among them was Katie McLaughlin, who defense attorneys later accused of perjuring herself. McLaughlin testified that Brian Albert’s daughter, Caitlin Albert, was an acquaintance of hers. Read’s attorneys said photographs show they are friends and she lied under oath.

After hearing arguments from both sides before Caitlin Albert took the stand, Judge Beverly Cannone said “my view has not changed,” indicating she did not believe McLaughlin perjured herself.

Albert family members take the stand

Near the end of the second week of testimony, jurors began to hear from members of the Albert family.

Chris Albert, Brian’s brother, was the first member of the family to take the stand. The current member of the Canton Board of Selectmen was out with the group that included Read and O’Keefe the night of his death.

Brian Albert himself also took the stand, testifying that neither Read nor O’Keefe ever entered his home the night of the incident.

“John never came into my house that night. He would’ve been welcomed. And the defendant would’ve been welcomed if she had come,” Brian Albert said. “I wish they had come over that night, they would’ve been welcomed with open arms. I really do.”

Defense attorneys questioned on cross-examination about why he got rid of his cellphone one day before receiving a data preservation notice. Brian Albert responded that his phone was failing and he upgraded it, and the timing was a coincidence.

Aidan Kearney sits in the reserved for media section of the court room during the trial of Karen Read at Norfolk County Superior Court, Friday, May 10, 2024, in Dedham, Mass.

AP Photo/Charles Krupa, Pool

“Turtleboy” ordered to leave courtroom

On May 10, the same day Brian Albert took the stand, the trial was paused while Cannone heard arguments about whether Aidan Kearney, who publishes as “Turtleboy” for his website, TB Daily News, should be allowed in the courtroom.

Kearney is currently facing charges of witness intimidation involving people in the Read case.

After discussion, Cannone ruled that Kearney must leave the courtroom when certain witnesses take the stand. Later in the trial, Cannone adjusted her ruling, determining that Kearney can be in attendance when two Massachusetts State Police troopers testify.

Witness saw “black blob,” defense calls it a “made-up story”

The third week of testimony began with several people who were inside Brian Albert’s home on the night of O’Keefe’s death.

One of them was Julie Nagel, a friend of Brian Albert Jr. She testified that while leaving the home, she saw a “black blobs” in the area where O’Keefe’s body was found. The defense called it a “made-up story.”

On May 13, Allie McCabe, broke down in tears on the stand while explaining what she described as harassment that her family has faced in the case. Her mother is Jennifer McCabewho was with Read when O’Keefe’s body was found.

Witness Colin Albert takes the stand during Karen Read’s murder trail at Dedham Superior Court on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Dedham, Mass.

Greg Derr/The Patriot Ledger via AP, Pool

Third-party culprit defense

Allie McCabe drove Colin Albert home from Fairview Road the night of the incident. Defense attorneys claim Colin Albert is one of the men who could have been involved in a fight that killed O’Keefe.

Colin Albert was called later in the week, testifying over the course of two days.

Defense attorneys played videos they say show Colin Albert threatening a group of teenagers. They also focused on his bloody knuckles that were seen in a photograph taken about a month after O’Keefe’s death.

Jennifer McCabe on the stand

The week concluded with Jennifer McCabe on the stand. She testified that Read was saying on the phone “Did I hit him? Could I have hit him?” before they went out to search for O’Keefe.

Jennifer McCabe also described how Read asked her to Google how long it takes to die in the cold the morning of January 29, 2022. The defense argues that the search actually happened hours before O’Keefe’s body was discovered.

The defense has not yet had a chance to cross-examine Jennifer McCabe. That is expected to happen on Tuesday when court resumes.

Matt Schooley

Matt Schooley is a digital producer at CBS Boston. He has been a member of the WBZ news team for the last decade.

 
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