Karen Read Trial Timeline: Friends, Family of John O’Keefe Battle His Ex in Court Over Who Murdered Boston Cop

The Karen Read murder trial is nearing the halfway point.

It is a trial that has captivated the nation and divided the residents of the small town of Canton, located approximately 20 miles south of Boston.

Read, an equity analyst and college professor at Bentley University in Massachusetts, is accused of murdering her boyfriend, Boston police officer John O’Keefe.

She is charged in Norfolk County Superior Court with second-degree murder, manslaughter while operating under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of personal injury and death.

Read has pleaded not guilty to all charges and has maintained her innocence ever since the day a grand jury first indicted her on these charges.

Here is how the events leading up to the discovery of the body of John O’Keefe and the legal proceedings that followed have played out.

The Murder of John O’Keefe

John O'Keefe died on Jan, 29, 2022. – BPD

Jan. 29, 2022 – Karen Read enlists two women—Jennifer McCabe and Kerry Roberts—to help her search for her boyfriend, Boston Police Officer John O’Keefe. Read spots his body covered in snow outside the home of Brian Albert in the early morning hours. O’Keefe is rushed to the hospital where he is pronounced dead.

Jan. 31, 2022 – The medical examiner rules O’Keefe’s cause of death to be blunt impact injuries to the head and hypothermia.

Feb. 2, 2022 – Read makes her first appearance in Stoughton District Court where she pleads not guilty to charges of manslaughter, motor vehicle homicide and leaving the scene of a motor vehicle collision causing death.

June 10, 2022 – A grand jury in Norfolk County indicts Read on charges of second-degree murder, manslaughter while operating under the influence of alcohol, and leaving the scene of personal injury and death. Read’s case is transferred and she is arraigned on these new charges at Norfolk Superior Court, where she again pleads not guilty. Read is sent to jail and bail is set at $100,000, which is soon posted and she is released from custody.

Karen Read Pre-Trial

Karen Read (above with her defense attorney in court) says she is being framed . – Getty Images

May 3, 2023 – The defense shares Read’s alibi in court for the first time at a pre-trial hearing, saying that O’Keefe was involved in a fight at the home of Brian Albert on the day of his death and his body was dumped in the yard. Prosecutors counter these allegation by saying there is no evidence that O’Keefe ever entered Brian Albert’s home on Jan. 29, 2022.

May 23, 2003 – During another pre-trial hearing, the defense says that the murder of John O’Keefe is a massive cover-up involving members of law enforcement and their friends and family members. In one of her only public statements since the death of her boyfriend, Read says outside court that day: “We know who did it. We know. And we all know who spearheaded this coverup. You all know. I tried to save his life. I tried to save his life at six in the morning. I was covered in his blood. I was the only one trying to save his life.”

Feb. 22, 2024 – Prosecutors say in a court filing that O’Keefe’s DNA was found on Read’s broken taillight and that particles from Read’s broken taillight were found on O’Keefe’s clothing. 

March 26, 2024 – Judge Beverly Cannone denies a defense motion to dismiss the case.

April 12, 2024 – Read’s defense attorneys say in court that Brian Albert, his son Colin Albert and Brian Higgins could have each killed O’Keefe at the party that night. Prosecutors say “there is no actual evidence” to support that claim. To date, none of those three men have been charged with any crime related to O’Keefe’s death.

Karen Read Murder Trial Begins

Read and O'Keefe (above) were drinking at a bar in the hours before his death – Facebook

April 16, 2024 – Jury selection begins.

April 24, 2024 – Jurors and alternates are seated for the case in Norfolk County Court after five days of jury selection.

April 29, 2024 – Opening statements are delivered in the case. 

“The defendant, Karen Read, is guilty of murder in the second degree. Striking of the victim, Mr. O’Keefe, with a car, knocking him back onto the ground, striking his head on the ground, causing the bleeding in his brain, swelling and then leaving him there,” says Norfolk County District Attorney Adam Lally.

Defense attorney David Yanetti addresses the jury next, saying: “Karen Read was framed. Her car never struck John O’Keefe. She did not cause his death. And that means that somebody else did it.”

Prosecution Presents Its Case

Among those to testify at trial were O'Keefe's nephew and niece who he had been raising since 2014 (above). – GoFundMe

April 30, 2024 – Timothy Nuttall, a Canton firefighter and paramedic who treated O’Keefe at the scene, testifies that he asked a woman at the scene whose face was covered in blood if she knew O’Keefe. “I heard ‘I hit him, I hit him,'” says Nuttall.

May 2, 2024 – Canton firefighter-paramedic Katie McLaughlin testifies that she heard Read say “I hit him” multiple times while she was treating O’Keefe at the scene. Lt. Anthony Flematti, a Canton firefighter and EMT, testifies that Read repeatedly said, “I hit him, I hit him” at the scene that same day.

May 3, 2024 – Jurors travel to the home of Brian Albert to see the spot where O’Keefe was found dead.

May 6, 2024 – Lt. Paul Gallagher of the Canton Police Department testifies that he saw footprints in the snow around the area where O’Keefe’s body was discovered, but none on the lawn of Brian Albert’s home. 

May 7, 2024 – Sgt. Michael Lank testifies that he found pieces of a shattered taillight at the crime scene and no evidence that O’Keefe entered the Alberts’ home on the night of his death. He also testifies to being an acquaintance of homeowner Brian Albert.

May 10, 2024 – The proceedings are briefly halted so that the prosecution and defense can present arguments to Judge Beverly Cannone about whether the controversial blogger Aidan Timothy Kearney, who writes under the name Turtleboy and some have said supports Read, can stay in the courtroom. Turtleboy is facing witness intimidation charges related to the Read trial. The judge rules he can stay in court but must leave when certain individuals take the stand. Turtleboy has entered a not guilty plea to all counts and claims the state is using these charges to stop him from covering Read’s trial. 

May 13, 2024 – The homeowner’s son, Brian Albert Jr., testifies that he saw a black SUV similar to the one Read drives near the location where O’Keefe’s body was discovered just a few hours  before the police officer’s death.

May 15, 2024 – The prosecution calls Allie McCabe to the stand after the defense questions Brian Albert’s son Colin Albert, one of the three men they are trying to implicate in O’Keefe’s death. McCabe talks about picking Chris up on the night of O’Keefe’s murder. She breaks down while detailing the onslaught of targeted harassment that she says has been directed at her and other witnesses in the case.

May 16, 2024 – The defense introduces a photo of Colin Albert taken one month after O’Keefe’s death that shows the teenager with bruised knuckles.

May 17, 2024 – Jennifer McCabe, who was with Read when she discovered O’Keefe’s body, testifies that during their search, Read repeatedly said: “Did I hit him? Could I have hit him?” She also says Read later said when emergency workers were on the scene: “I hit him.”

May 18, 2024 – Jennifer McCabe returns to the stand for cross-examination and is questioned about her claims made one day before. She tells Read’s defense attorney: “I can tell you today with 100% clarity, she said, ‘I hit him, I hit him, I hit him.'”    

May 19, 2024 – In her third day on the stand. McCabe is asked about a search she did on her phone: “Hos (sic) long to die in cold.” The defense claims this search happened hours before O’Keefe’s death while McCabe says she made this search query at the scene after being asked by Read.   

May 24, 2024 – ATF Agent Brian Higgins testifies that Read kissed him and sent him flirty messages in the weeks before his friend O’Keefe’s death.     

May 28, 2024 – After the death of his sister and brother-in-law in 2014, O’Keefe took in and raised his orphaned niece and nephew. O’Keefe’s niece and nephew take the stand to talk about the fighting between their late uncle and Read in the weeks before O’Keefe’s death. The niece also testifies that she heard Read say: “Maybe I did something.”                                 

June 3, 2024 – The defense accuses police of planting the shattered fragments of taillight from Read’s car at the scene of the crime.         

 

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