Karen Read’s defense alleges ‘significant relationships’ at hearing

Posted at 12:45 PM, March 12, 2024 and last updated 9:54 AM, March 13, 2024

NORFOLK COUNTY, Mass. (Court TV) — Parties in the Karen Read case were in court Tuesday to argue multiple motions that detail alleged relationships between some of those involved.

Read is charged with second-degree murder in the death of her boyfriend, Boston Police Officer John O’Keefe, who was found dead in the snow outside the home of fellow police officer Brian Albert after a night of drinking in Jan. 2022. While investigators have accused Read of hitting O’Keefe with her car and then leaving him to die in the snow, her defense team has accused the police of conducting a sloppy investigation and covering up a fight inside the house that led to O’Keefe’s death.

karen read appears in court

Karen Read appears in court Tuesday, March 12, 2024 for a motions hearing. (Court TV)


Right out the gate, defense attorney Alan Jackson ticked off several examples of what he described as knowing “distortions” of evidence that intentionally misled the state grand jury into delivering a flawed indictment against Read. The alleged distortions came to light through information both sides received from a federal grand jury investigation of the Read case, which is still open.

Jackson said the grand jury presentation was “packed with known lies” and “deceptions” from investigators who deliberately concealed personal relationships between key witnesses, including the owners of the home where O’Keefe was found dead and guests at the party.

One example was the relationship between Trooper Michael Proctor, who led the investigation, and the Albert family. Jackson said ten days before O’Keefe’s death, Proctor texted Julie Albert about babysitting his child. Jackson also said three days after O’Keefe’s death, Proctor received a text message from his sister that stated, “Just saw Julie (Albert) and Julie said when all this is over, she wants to give you a thank-you gift,” to which he replied, “Get (my wife) one.”

Canton Police Sgt. Michael Lank, who was the first in the home after O’Keefe’s body was found, also had a lifelong personal relationship with the Albert family, Jackson said. Jackson claimed Lank “has a history of using his position as a police officer to shield the Alberts,” referencing a 2002 barfight.

Jackson also said Jennifer McCabe, who attended the party, searched “how long to die in cold” at 2:27 am, and prosecutors did not present that to the grand jury even though they had it.

court room proceedings in karen read case

Defense attorney Alan Jackson speaks at a motions hearing for his client, Karen Read, Tuesday, March 12, 2024. (Court TV)

Arguing for the state, Assistant District Attorney Adam Lally said none of the defense’s examples met the high burden necessary to dismiss the indictment and that none of the “purported malfeasances” occurred before the grand jury and did not advance the defense’s claim that someone else is responsible for O’Keefe’s death.

Lally also said the phone analysis revealed the Google searches happened in the morning after O’Keefe was found dead, to which Jackson argued the records show the searches happened before and after.

Jackson also told the court that federal investigators hired a professional reconstructionist to determine if Read’s car made contact with O’Keefe. He said their conclusion was that O’Keefe’s injuries were inconsistent with damage to the car, and the damage to the car was inconsistent with making contact with O’Keefe’s body.


Parties also argued a defense motion to disqualify and sanction Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey on Tuesday. Defense attorney David Yanetti accused the elected head of “unprecedented” unethical conduct by making a public statement vouching for the credibility of witnesses and denigrating the defense; and by lying to the defense and the Court when he said in 2023 that he had no knowledge of a federal probe when correspondence later revealed that he did.

adam lally speaks to court

Assistant District Attorney Adam Lally speaks during a motions hearing in the Karen Read case Tuesday, March 12, 2024. (Court TV)

Arguing for the state, Lally said Morrissey’s statement was in response to witness harassment by Aidan “Turtleboy” Kearney, a blogger accused of witness intimidation who allegedly exchanged hundreds of texts and phone calls with Read.

Lally also accused the defense of initiating the federal probe and said it was “disingenuous” for the defense to claim it had been “sandbagged” by it.

Ultimately, Norfolk Superior Court Judge Beverly J. Cannone reserved ruling on the defense motions that were argued in court. The defense said they also intend to file Rule 17 motions concerning alleged discovery violations by the end of the day.

Currently, Read is scheduled to go to trial April 16.