Karen Read murder trial: Live updates as doctors testify about treating O’Keefe
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Karen Read murder trial: Live updates as doctors testify about treating O’Keefe

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Karen Read murder trial: Live updates as doctors testify about treating O’Keefe

Read is accused of killing her boyfriend, John O’Keefe, with an SUV during a winter storm.

The teenage niece and nephew of a Boston police officer testified Tuesday in the murder trial of Karen Read, the Massachusetts woman accused of hitting John O’Keefe, her boyfriend, with an SUV and leaving him to die in a snowstorm.Read, 44, of Mansfield, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and other charges. The prosecution says she hit her boyfriend, John O’Keefe, with her black SUV outside of a home at 34 Fairview Road in Canton during a snowstorm on Jan. 29, 2022, following a night of drinking. Her defense plans to argue that someone else is responsible for killing O’Keefe. O’Keefe took custody of his 13-year-old nephew and 16-year-old niece after their parents died. The children testified for the prosecution and described yelling and arguments between O’Keefe and Read, which they said became more frequent in the weeks leading up to O’Keefe’s death.Both children described an incident in which O’Keefe asked Read to leave the house and she refused. “She said no. She was swearing. She got very loud,” the niece said.The night O’Keefe died, the niece was home alone and remembered being awakened by Read at 4:30 a.m. She said Read shook her, left and came back and told her to call O’Keefe.”She was just pacing down the hallway, asking what could’ve happened,” the niece testified. “She said, ‘Maybe I did something.’ Later, she said, ‘Maybe a snowplow hit him.’”Testimony of the childrens’ testimony was not live-streamed, under the court’s order. Streaming resumed afterward with testimony from doctors at Good Samaritan Hospital, where O’Keefe was brought after he was found in the snow. Live updates:1:30 p.m. Testimony resumes with a pathologist from Good Samaritan.12:51 p.m. Little points out that O’Keefe’s report shows no broken bones below the neck. Under redirect, Rice says such injuries would not have been pertinent to saving O’Keefe’s life. Jury excused for lunch break12:43 p.m. Rice says he also took care of Read after she arrived at Good Samaritan around 7:51am. (She had made suicidal comments.) They took a blood sample and tested for, among other things, alcohol. Came back as 93 mg/deciliter. (That equals 0.093% blood alcohol content.) On cross-examination, Rice said he doesn’t remember treating Read. 12:28 p.m. Dr. Justin Rice called to testify. He was on duty in the ER at Good Samaritan Hospital when O’Keefe was brought in. Rice says O’Keefe was unresponsive and was in cardiac arrest when he arrived. EMTs were doing CPR.11:45 a.m. Both children maintained composure throughout their testimonies. Jurors seemed to be listening intently but taking few notes. Read showed no emotion. A few times, she jotted down notes and passed them to her attorneys. Afterward, Read smiled at her family. 11:30 a.m. The nephew was at a sleepover the night O’Keefe died. The niece was home alone and remembers being awakened by Read at 4:30 a.m. The niece says Read shook her, left and came back, told her to try to call O’Keefe. 11:10 a.m. The nephew, who was 11 at the time, remembers a relationship that was “sometimes rough” but also said Read “was nice sometimes. She would take us places.” 11 a.m. O’Keefe’s nephew, 13, and niece, 16, have just testified. Reporters were not allowed to use electronic devices during their testimony but we can now report on what they said. We cannot report their names.9:45 a.m. Higgins says he wasn’t familiar with preservation orders, says his old phone “was beaten and was broken up.” Says he was working undercover a lot and learned that his personal phone number had become public. 9:30 a.m. Prosecutor Adam Lally begins re-direct. Asks about pulling away from 34 Fairview in his Jeep Wrangler 9:20 a.m. Yannetti questions Higgins about throwing away his phone and the SIM card that was inside.9:08 a.m. Judge begins by stating that defense attorney Alan Jackson is not present today, tells jurors they should not read anything into that and should not hold it against the defendant. Follow posts from reporter David BienickRelated links:Recap of testimony, evidence from each day of the case Evidence slideshowWhat to know about the case:Karen Read, 44, of Mansfield, is accused of second-degree murder and other charges. The prosecution says she hit her boyfriend, Boston police officer John O’Keefe, with her vehicle outside of a home in Canton during a snowstorm on Jan. 29, 2022, following a night of drinking. She returned hours later to find him in a snowbank.Read has pleaded not guilty.Read and her defense team claim she is the victim of a cover-up and plan to present a third-party culprit defense. They claim O’Keefe was beaten inside the home, bitten by a dog, and then left outside.In pretrial motions, prosecutors revealed the existence of text messages they said suggested a “romantic entanglement” with a friend who was present at locations Read and O’Keefe visited on the night of the incident. Other documents have also suggested trouble in the relationship between Read and O’Keefe.Read is also accused of having frequent contact with a controversial blogger known as “Turtleboy,” Aiden Kearney, who now faces charges in related cases.Opening statements were delivered on April 29.The trial is expected to last 6-8 weeks.Case evidence slideshow: Earlier Tuesday, the defense continued its cross-examination of ATF Agent Brian Higgins, one of the three men Read’s defense lawyers have implicated in O’Keefe’s death.Attorney David Yannetti questioned Higgins about his cellphone and its data. Higgins said he either “cut up” or “ripped” the SIM card to prevent its use in another cellphone.”I believe it went in a trash bag,” Higgins said. “It would have been disposed of with the phone. I put it in a trash bag — or with my trash.”Higgins said he disposed of the cellphone and SIM card in a dumpster on a military base, admitting that he did not transfer any data from his old phone to his new cellphone. Higgins said he was unfamiliar with preservation orders and added that his old phone “was beaten and broken up.” He explained that he was working undercover and learned that his personal phone number had become public.Norfolk County Assistant District Attorney Adam Lally asked Higgins if he saw anything on the side of the road on the night O’Keefe died.”I’ve spent my whole life between being a firefighter, working in the profession that I work now, being a tactical medic, if I had saw John O’Keefe on the side of the road, I would have done something to make a difference,” Higgins said.Last week, Higgins testified about flirty text messages exchanged with Read a few weeks before O’Keefe’s death.”You’re, hot,” Read wrote to Higgins in one of the messages.”Are you serious or messing with me?” Higgins replied.”No, I’m serious,” Read wrote.”Feeling is mutual. Is that bad? How long have you thought that?” Higgins asked.Higgins testified that one day, when he was leaving O’Keefe’s house, Read “planted a kiss on me. Not like a friend,” adding that he interpreted it as romantic.In another exchange, Higgins read a message from Read in which she invited him to her house.”I’m glad you came over tonight,” Read later texted.Higgins said he asked Read in one message if she and O’Keefe were breaking up, to which Read replied, “I don’t know. He hooked up (with) another girl on vacation.”Read eventually went over to Higgins’ house, where the pair continued to discuss their interactions, Higgins testified.”I am not proud of these text messages. It is what it is. I take responsibility for them,” Higgins told the court. “John was a friend at the same time. If they were at the end of their relationship, they were at the end of their relationship. But I was not going to have someone utilize me, weaponize me against someone I liked.”Defense attorney Alan Jackson started his cross-examination Friday by questioning Higgins about his “romantic interest” in Read.”I was physically attracted to her, yes,” Higgins said.Higgins was cross-examined by Jackson about his phone records and movements within the Canton Police Department. Jackson sought to imply that Higgins had conversations with Brian Albert hours before O’Keefe’s body was found and suggest that Higgins had access to Read’s SUV and other evidence.Prosecutors are trying to show that Read’s actions were intentional. Read’s lawyers have alleged there was a cover-up involving members of several law enforcement agencies. They say O’Keefe was beaten by someone else inside the home, bitten by a dog and then left outside.They argued investigators focused on Read because she was a “convenient outsider,” and that prevented them from considering other suspects. The defense is trying to convince the jury that O’Keefe was beaten and argues that Colin Albert had been in a fight. Albert said the injury came when he fell in a driveway and that he never saw O’Keefe on the night in question.He was in high school at the time, but previously testified that he was drinking beer at a friend’s house before going to 34 Fairview Road to celebrate his cousin’s birthday. Albert is the nephew of the couple that owned the Canton property where O’Keefe was found in January 2022. He also confirmed on cross-examination that he has known the lead state police investigator in this case, Trooper Michael Proctor, since he was a child. Another man that the defense has tried to implicate in the death is ATF Agent Brian Higgins, who testified about a “romantic” encounter and series of text messages he exchanged with Read. In those flirty messages, Read told him that O’Keefe had “hooked up” with another woman during a vacation.The trial’s first few days detailed the futile efforts of first responders to save O’Keefe. They found him face up when they arrived just before dawn on Jan. 29. He was pronounced dead at the hospital, and an autopsy later found he died of hypothermia and blunt force trauma. Several of the first responders said they heard Read make statements, including, “I hit him,” after O’Keefe was found. Defense attorneys confronted several of those witnesses by asking why those alleged remarks were not included in official reports.Officers also testified about unusual procedures used during the investigation, including the decision to collect bloody snow in red plastic cups and clearing snow from the crime scene.

The teenage niece and nephew of a Boston police officer testified Tuesday in the murder trial of Karen Read, the Massachusetts woman accused of hitting John O’Keefe, her boyfriend, with an SUV and leaving him to die in a snowstorm.

Read, 44, of Mansfield, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and other charges. The prosecution says she hit her boyfriend, John O’Keefe, with her black SUV outside of a home at 34 Fairview Road in Canton during a snowstorm on Jan. 29, 2022, following a night of drinking. Her defense plans to argue that someone else is responsible for killing O’Keefe.

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O’Keefe took custody of his 13-year-old nephew and 16-year-old niece after their parents died. The children testified for the prosecution and described yelling and arguments between O’Keefe and Read, which they said became more frequent in the weeks leading up to O’Keefe’s death.

Both children described an incident in which O’Keefe asked Read to leave the house and she refused. “She said no. She was swearing. She got very loud,” the niece said.

The night O’Keefe died, the niece was home alone and remembered being awakened by Read at 4:30 a.m. She said Read shook her, left and came back and told her to call O’Keefe.

“She was just pacing down the hallway, asking what could’ve happened,” the niece testified. “She said, ‘Maybe I did something.’ Later, she said, ‘Maybe a snowplow hit him.’”

Testimony of the childrens’ testimony was not live-streamed, under the court’s order. Streaming resumed afterward with testimony from doctors at Good Samaritan Hospital, where O’Keefe was brought after he was found in the snow.


Live updates:

  • 1:30 p.m. Testimony resumes with a pathologist from Good Samaritan.
  • 12:51 p.m. Little points out that O’Keefe’s report shows no broken bones below the neck. Under redirect, Rice says such injuries would not have been pertinent to saving O’Keefe’s life. Jury excused for lunch break
  • 12:43 p.m. Rice says he also took care of Read after she arrived at Good Samaritan around 7:51am. (She had made suicidal comments.) They took a blood sample and tested for, among other things, alcohol. Came back as 93 mg/deciliter. (That equals 0.093% blood alcohol content.) On cross-examination, Rice said he doesn’t remember treating Read.
  • 12:28 p.m. Dr. Justin Rice called to testify. He was on duty in the ER at Good Samaritan Hospital when O’Keefe was brought in. Rice says O’Keefe was unresponsive and was in cardiac arrest when he arrived. EMTs were doing CPR.
  • 11:45 a.m. Both children maintained composure throughout their testimonies. Jurors seemed to be listening intently but taking few notes. Read showed no emotion. A few times, she jotted down notes and passed them to her attorneys. Afterward, Read smiled at her family.
  • 11:30 a.m. The nephew was at a sleepover the night O’Keefe died. The niece was home alone and remembers being awakened by Read at 4:30 a.m. The niece says Read shook her, left and came back, told her to try to call O’Keefe.
  • 11:10 a.m. The nephew, who was 11 at the time, remembers a relationship that was “sometimes rough” but also said Read “was nice sometimes. She would take us places.”
  • 11 a.m. O’Keefe’s nephew, 13, and niece, 16, have just testified. Reporters were not allowed to use electronic devices during their testimony but we can now report on what they said. We cannot report their names.
  • 9:45 a.m. Higgins says he wasn’t familiar with preservation orders, says his old phone “was beaten and was broken up.” Says he was working undercover a lot and learned that his personal phone number had become public.
  • 9:30 a.m. Prosecutor Adam Lally begins re-direct. Asks about pulling away from 34 Fairview in his Jeep Wrangler
  • 9:20 a.m. Yannetti questions Higgins about throwing away his phone and the SIM card that was inside.
  • 9:08 a.m. Judge begins by stating that defense attorney Alan Jackson is not present today, tells jurors they should not read anything into that and should not hold it against the defendant.
  • Follow posts from reporter David Bienick

Related links:

What to know about the case:

  • Karen Read, 44, of Mansfield, is accused of second-degree murder and other charges. The prosecution says she hit her boyfriend, Boston police officer John O’Keefe, with her vehicle outside of a home in Canton during a snowstorm on Jan. 29, 2022, following a night of drinking. She returned hours later to find him in a snowbank.
  • Read has pleaded not guilty.
  • Read and her defense team claim she is the victim of a cover-up and plan to present a third-party culprit defense. They claim O’Keefe was beaten inside the home, bitten by a dog, and then left outside.
  • In pretrial motions, prosecutors revealed the existence of text messages they said suggested a “romantic entanglement” with a friend who was present at locations Read and O’Keefe visited on the night of the incident. Other documents have also suggested trouble in the relationship between Read and O’Keefe.
  • Read is also accused of having frequent contact with a controversial blogger known as “Turtleboy,” Aiden Kearney, who now faces charges in related cases.
  • Opening statements were delivered on April 29.
  • The trial is expected to last 6-8 weeks.

Case evidence slideshow:


Earlier Tuesday, the defense continued its cross-examination of ATF Agent Brian Higgins, one of the three men Read’s defense lawyers have implicated in O’Keefe’s death.

Attorney David Yannetti questioned Higgins about his cellphone and its data. Higgins said he either “cut up” or “ripped” the SIM card to prevent its use in another cellphone.

“I believe it went in a trash bag,” Higgins said. “It would have been disposed of with the phone. I put it in a trash bag — or with my trash.”

Higgins said he disposed of the cellphone and SIM card in a dumpster on a military base, admitting that he did not transfer any data from his old phone to his new cellphone.

Higgins said he was unfamiliar with preservation orders and added that his old phone “was beaten and broken up.” He explained that he was working undercover and learned that his personal phone number had become public.

Norfolk County Assistant District Attorney Adam Lally asked Higgins if he saw anything on the side of the road on the night O’Keefe died.

“I’ve spent my whole life between being a firefighter, working in the profession that I work now, being a tactical medic, if I had saw John O’Keefe on the side of the road, I would have done something to make a difference,” Higgins said.

Last week, Higgins testified about flirty text messages exchanged with Read a few weeks before O’Keefe’s death.

“You’re, hot,” Read wrote to Higgins in one of the messages.

“Are you serious or messing with me?” Higgins replied.

“No, I’m serious,” Read wrote.

“Feeling is mutual. Is that bad? How long have you thought that?” Higgins asked.

atf agent brian higgins and some of the text messages he shared with karen read

Hearst Owned

ATF Agent Brian Higgins testifies about a text message exchange he had with defendant Karen Read.

Higgins testified that one day, when he was leaving O’Keefe’s house, Read “planted a kiss on me. Not like a friend,” adding that he interpreted it as romantic.

In another exchange, Higgins read a message from Read in which she invited him to her house.

“I’m glad you came over tonight,” Read later texted.

Higgins said he asked Read in one message if she and O’Keefe were breaking up, to which Read replied, “I don’t know. He hooked up (with) another girl on vacation.”

Read eventually went over to Higgins’ house, where the pair continued to discuss their interactions, Higgins testified.

“I am not proud of these text messages. It is what it is. I take responsibility for them,” Higgins told the court. “John was a friend at the same time. If they were at the end of their relationship, they were at the end of their relationship. But I was not going to have someone utilize me, weaponize me against someone I liked.”

Defense attorney Alan Jackson started his cross-examination Friday by questioning Higgins about his “romantic interest” in Read.

“I was physically attracted to her, yes,” Higgins said.

Higgins was cross-examined by Jackson about his phone records and movements within the Canton Police Department. Jackson sought to imply that Higgins had conversations with Brian Albert hours before O’Keefe’s body was found and suggest that Higgins had access to Read’s SUV and other evidence.

Prosecutors are trying to show that Read’s actions were intentional. Read’s lawyers have alleged there was a cover-up involving members of several law enforcement agencies. They say O’Keefe was beaten by someone else inside the home, bitten by a dog and then left outside.

karen read speaks to attorney alan jackson

Hearst Owned

Officer John O’Keefe

They argued investigators focused on Read because she was a “convenient outsider,” and that prevented them from considering other suspects.

The defense is trying to convince the jury that O’Keefe was beaten and argues that Colin Albert had been in a fight. Albert said the injury came when he fell in a driveway and that he never saw O’Keefe on the night in question.

He was in high school at the time, but previously testified that he was drinking beer at a friend’s house before going to 34 Fairview Road to celebrate his cousin’s birthday.

Witness Colin Albert takes the stand during Karen Read's murder trail at Dedham Superior Court on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Dedham, Mass. Read is facing charges including second degree murder in the 2022 death of her boyfriend Boston Officer John O’Keefe. (Greg Derr/The Patriot Ledger via AP, Pool)

Greg Derr

Witness Colin Albert takes the stand.

Albert is the nephew of the couple that owned the Canton property where O’Keefe was found in January 2022. He also confirmed on cross-examination that he has known the lead state police investigator in this case, Trooper Michael Proctor, since he was a child.

Another man that the defense has tried to implicate in the death is ATF Agent Brian Higgins, who testified about a “romantic” encounter and series of text messages he exchanged with Read. In those flirty messages, Read told him that O’Keefe had “hooked up” with another woman during a vacation.

Witness Brian Higgins answers a question from prosecutor Adam Lally regarding text messages between Higgins and defendant Karen Read, during Read's trial in Norfolk Superior Court, Friday, May 24, 2024, in Dedham, Mass. Read, 44, is accused of running into her Boston police officer boyfriend with her SUV in the middle of a nor'easter and leaving him for dead after a night of heavy drinking. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, Pool)

AP Photo/Charles Krupa, Pool

Witness Brian Higgins answers a question from prosecutor Adam Lally.

The trial’s first few days detailed the futile efforts of first responders to save O’Keefe. They found him face up when they arrived just before dawn on Jan. 29. He was pronounced dead at the hospital, and an autopsy later found he died of hypothermia and blunt force trauma.

Several of the first responders said they heard Read make statements, including, “I hit him,” after O’Keefe was found. Defense attorneys confronted several of those witnesses by asking why those alleged remarks were not included in official reports.

Officers also testified about unusual procedures used during the investigation, including the decision to collect bloody snow in red plastic cups and clearing snow from the crime scene.

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