Defense lawyer, special prosecutor argue over request to monitor jail calls of ‘Turtleboy’

DEDHAM, Mass. — A Norfolk Superior Court judge is expected to issue a ruling on a prosecutor’s request to monitor all jail calls of controversial blogger Aidan Kearney, also known as “Turtleboy.”

Judge Debra A. Squires-Lee heard the request from special prosecutor Kenneth Mello Friday. Mello was hired by Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey.

Read is charged with 2nd-degree murder for the death of her Boston Police officer boyfriend John O’Keefe. Read is accused of backing over O’Keefe and leaving him to die in a January 2022 blizzard outside a home in Canton.

Kearney faces witness intimidation and other charges for his aggressive activism in the Read murder case. A grand jury indicted Kearney in December on 16 felony counts.

Mello said Kearney went to great lengths to harass witnesses — often filming himself as he would try to confront them or call them at their homes, children’s sports games, or places of work. Mello said Kearney would also share personal information online — like a state trooper’s phone number — while saying he would never stop.

In court Friday, Mello asked for strict restrictions on Kearney’s jail calls. He wants Kearney’s phone conversations with his attorney recorded and monitored by a third party who reports to the Court.

Mello also asked the judge to limit who he can talk to from behind bars to only his children and his attorney.

“Under what authority do you make that request?” the judge asked. “Or is this entirely an unprecedented request?”

“Entirely unprecedented, your honor,” Mello said.

Mello continued: “He’s behind bars, your honor. He’s just as active as he was when he was in public.”

The unusual request comes after a woman who works for Kearney’s website was incorrectly identified as an attorney on his jail call contact list.

Mello wants Kearney’s lawyer Tim Bradl fined $10,000 for that.

Bradl told the judge the issue was an honest mistake.

“It was an absolute oversight, your honor,” Bradl said. “I clearly stated that this one’s a paralegal. This one’s an attorney, and I was just mistaken about that she was attorney, I thought she was an attorney.”

An assistant superintendent from the Norfolk County Jail was called to explain what calls are monitored.

“And the rule again at the jail is that only communications with attorneys are unmonitored?” the judge asked.

Asst. Deputy Assistant William Casteel, of Norfolk County Jail, said: “Yes.”

Bradl fired back with a request of his own.

He said Mello should be disciplined and even thrown off this case for including his cell phone numbers and others associated with Kearney in one of his court filings

“Lawyers have obligations to, to not dox people,” Bradl said. “First of all, your Honor, to not publish sensitive private information.”

Mello said: “the telephone numbers here were absolutely relevant to this matter.”

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