Karen Read loses it on defense team as trial over the alleged murder of her cop boyfriend drags on

Karen Read snapped at her legal team and rolled her eyes during court on Wednesday

Amelia Neath,Katie Hawkinson
Thursday 16 May 2024 16:09
Karen Read loses it on defense team as trial over alleged murder of her boyfriend drags on

Karen Read lost her cool with her defense team, rolling her eyes and giving a strong reaction during a break from the trial over her alleged killing of her cop boyfriend.

Ms Read, a financial analyst and former Bentley University professor, is on trial charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter after her boyfriend, John O’Keefe, a 16-year police veteran, was found unresponsive in the snow outside the home of a fellow Boston police officer, Brian Albert.

On Wednesday, several key witnesses returned or took to the stand for the first time, testifying to the court about Mr O’Keefe’s death.

As court broke for lunch on Wednesday, the defendant rolled her eyes and snapped her head back during a talk with her attorney, then reportedly muttered something quickly at her legal team.

Karen Read reacts to her family during a break in her murder trail at Dedham Superior Court on Wednesday (AP)

The reaction is the latest in a series of odd behavior from Ms Read in court as she was previously seen smiling and eating while in the courtroom.

Ms Read is accused of mowing down Mr O’Keefe as their relationship deteriorated. The defense contends that Ms Read is the victim of a vast police conspiracy and the officer was killed in a fight at a home after a trip to a local bar.

Wednesday’s exchange between Read and her lawyers happened just after the court heard from Allison McCabe, the daughter of Jennifer McCabe, who was with Ms Read when they discovered Mr O’Keefe’s body lying in the snow in front of the home of Brian and Nichole Albert, where a group went after the bar closed.

During Allison’s emotional testimony, she came to the defense of Colin Albert, one of the men Ms Read’s defense team claims was involved in a fight at Albert’s home that they say resulted in Mr O’Keefe’s death, according to CBS.

Karen Read talks with her lawyers during her murder trail at Dedham Superior Court on Wednesday (AP)

Allison told the court she had picked up Colin Albert and drove him to the home, and that Colin was not present during the alleged fight.

“Colin wasn’t at the house. He’s being harassed for … he was not at the house when John [O’Keefe] was there. I drove him home. People are harassing him, saying he was at the house when it’s not true,” Allison McCabe said in court.

Following the break, the court was shown text messages between Colin Albert and Allison McCabe, where he asks her to pick him up, with Colin adding he left the house around 30 seconds after Allison texted that she was “Here.”

He was also asked if he saw O’Keefe at his uncle’s house on that night and he said he did not, NBC Boston reports.

Defendant Karen Read arrives in court with her lawyers Alan Jackson and David Yannetti at Norfolk Superior Court on Wednesday (AP)

An autopsy found that Mr O’Keefe had several abrasions on his right forearm, two black eyes, a cut on his nose, a two-inch laceration to the back of his head and multiple skull fractures. Hypothermia was also a contributing factor in his death.

In the early hours of January 29, 2022, Jennifer McCabe said Ms Read called her in distress. The finance professor said she had tried to contact Mr O’Keefe and could not reach him, Jennifer McCabe told authorities.

They later met up with another friend, Kerry Roberts, who received similar calls from Ms Read.

Ms Roberts told police Ms Read called and said her boyfriend was dead, claiming he may have been hit by a snowplow. Ms McCabe also told police Ms Read asked her: “Could I have hit him?”

The group then said they found Mr O’Keefe lying unresponsive in the snow in front of the Alberts’ home. Ms Roberts began CPR, and Ms McCabe called the police.

After paramedics arrived, witnesses said Ms Read repeatedly asked if her boyfriend was dead. Responding troopers also observed Ms Read had a broken taillight.

Footage shows Karen Read embracing and kissing her boyfriend, John O’Keefe (AP)

Several first responders have testified that Ms Read told them loudly and repeatedly at the scene that she “hit him,” though she never said with her SUV.

Another witness, a police officer who was among the first on the scene, testified that Ms Read said it was her fault and that she was responsible – although she didn’t say how she was responsible.

Prosecutors have argued that Ms Read and Mr O’Keefe’s relationship had been on the rocks prior to his death amid allegations that he was cheating and tensions over the two children in Mr O’Keefe’s care – his orphaned niece and nephew.

But Mr O’Keefe’s friends at the first bar testified in court that the couple seemed content and affectionate with one another that final night. Pictures of Ms Read kissing and hugging Mr O’Keefe at the bar were shown during the trial.

Meanwhile, Rebecca Trayers, the bartender at the last bar they visited, testified that no one in the group seemed overly drunk.

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