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Court video, updates: Forensic scientists testify about DNA evidence in Karen Read murder trial

DEDHAM, Mass. — A state police detective assigned to the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office who reported Trooper Michael Proctor’s vulgar texts about Karen Read “up his chain of command” returned to the stand Thursday as the Mansfield woman’s murder trial continues.

Tess Chart, a forensic DNA analyst at Bode Technology, and colleague Nicholas Bradford, later testified that John O’Keefe’s DNA was found on taillight pieces found outside 34 Fairview Avenue in Canton that matched Read’s SUV.

Andre Porto, a forensic scientist at the Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab, later testified that a DNA profile found on a drinking glass at the scene matched O’Keefe’s.

Read is charged with second-degree murder in O’Keefe’s death. Prosecutors allege she backed over him and left him for dead in a snowstorm.

WATCH LIVE: Day 24 of witness testimony in the Karen Read murder trial underway.

WATCH LIVE: Day 24 of witness testimony in the Karen Read murder trial underway. https://www.boston25news.com/news/local/detective-who-reported-proctor-texts-karen-read-case-up-chain-command-expected-back-stand/WRQWOVCEC5FEHA7DPOMUWC3GRI/

Posted by Boston 25 News on Thursday, June 13, 2024

PLAY-BY-PLAY FROM DAY 24 OF TESTIMONY:

3 p.m.

  • Defense declines to cross. Porto is excused. Judge tells jury she is going to send them home for the day.

2:45 p.m.

  • Porto says the DNA profile on the drinking glass matched JO’s profile.

2:20 p.m.

  • Chart is excused. The defense does not question. ADA Lally calls Andre Porto from MSP crime lab DNA unit.

2:15 p.m.

  • Tess Chart from Bode Labs says the hair sample is consistent with John O’Keefe so he can’t be excluded.

2 p.m.

  • Court is back. ADA Lally calls Tess Chart, who also works at Bode Labs

12:55 p.m.

  • A 45-minute lunch break is called.

12:48 p.m.

  • Bradford testifies that O’Keefe’s DNA was found on taillight pieces found at the scene which matched Read’s SUV.
  • Says hair sample did not have enough material for nuclear DNA analysis.

12:30 p.m.

  • ADA Lally calls Nicholas Bradford a DNA Analyst from Bode Labs in Virginia to the station.

12:15 p.m.

  • Sgt. Brian Gallerani from Needham police was quickly called to the stand to say he took Proctor and Bukhenik’s DNA. No defense questions.

11:45 a.m.

  • Jackson asks Lt. Tully about statements made by Canton plow driver Brian “Lucky” Loughran. He will be an important witness for the defense.
  • Loughran reported he didn’t see a body outside 34 Fairview but he did see a Ford Edge parked near the flag pole.
  • On the stand, Lt. Tully said Loughran’s story changed 3 times and he questioned his “reliability”.

11:27 a.m.

  • AJ asks why there are 5 pieces of plastic taillight evidence from SERT team search when Lt. Tully’s report says 3 were collected
  • AJ: “Where did the extra items come from?”
  • BT says a “fragment” in one evidence bag may have come off a bigger piece.

10:55 a.m.

  • A morning recess is called.

10:40 a.m.

  • AJ asking BT if a search warrant would have been appropriate if Brian Higgins reported seeing “A tall, dark hair man, enter the house”
  • BT: in the off chance Mr. Higgins said something like I would certainly need more information Higgins wasn’t interviewed until more than a week after JO’s death

10:20 a.m.

  • Jackson is called to cross-examine of Lt Tully: AJ: you’re aware drinking glasses are commonly found in houses?
  • BT: houses or bars
  • AJ: he was also found with a coat on are coats commonly worn inside or outside?
  • BT: User’s choice
  • AJ: Have you ever experienced a homicide where a body has been dragged and lost a shoe?
  • BT: I don’t have any experience with that.

9:50 a.m.

  • ADA Lally had Lt. Tully walk him through surveillance videos showing a “dark colored SUV”.
  • Lt. Tully says KR would have had time between 5:18 a.m. to 5:35 a.m. to return to 34 Fairview before driving to McCabe’s.

9:30 a.m.

Lt. Tully says there were 53 phone calls from KR’s phone to JO’s phone from 12:33 a.m. to 6:03 a.m. on 1/29/22.

9:20 a.m.

  • Lt. Tully was about to say what he believes caused the injuries to JO’s right arm but it did not get in
  • BT: I would be comfortable saying the marks on Mr. O’Keefe are consistent with....
  • AJ: Objection
  • Judge: Sustained

9:15 a.m..

  • Lt. Tully says evidence is needed to get a search warrant for a property and he tells ADA Lally there was no evidence to put JO inside the home.
  • He says KR’s SUV was towed to Canton Police because it has a heated garage

9:10 a.m.

  • Lt Brian Tully is called back to the stand.
WATCH LIVE: Day 24 of witness testimony in the Karen Read murder trial underway.

WATCH LIVE: Day 24 of witness testimony in the Karen Read murder trial underway. https://www.boston25news.com/news/local/detective-who-reported-proctor-texts-karen-read-case-up-chain-command-expected-back-stand/WRQWOVCEC5FEHA7DPOMUWC3GRI/

Posted by Boston 25 News on Thursday, June 13, 2024

Detective Lt. Brian Tully testified Wednesday afternoon that he admonished Proctor, the lead investigator tasked with looking into the death of Read’s Boston police officer boyfriend, John O’Keefe, over crude and vulgar text messages about Read that he admitted to sending to friends, family, and fellow troopers after O’Keefe’s death.

Tully, the Norfolk County State Police Detective Unit Commander, has been a member of the law enforcement agency for 18 years.

After O’Keefe’s body was found outside the Canton home of fellow Boston Police Officer Brian Albert at 34 Fairview Road in January 2022, Tully testified that he the former Canton police chief decided the Canton Police Department should recuse itself from the investigation due to the Albert brothers’ connection to the case.

Proctor acknowledged in his testimony that he is friends with the brother of Brian Albert and his wife. The Albert family was hosting a house party on the night of O’Keefe’s death.

Proctor, who first took the stand Monday, acknowledged to the jury that he called Read names in his private text messages, including “wack job.” He also admitted texting his sister that he wished Read would “kill herself,” which he claimed was a figure of speech and that “emotions got the best of me.”

Tully testified that he had a long discussion with Proctor over those text messages, expressing displeasure over his unprofessionalism. Tully said he then reported them “up his chain of command.”

Proctor apologized for some of the language he used but insisted they had no influence on the investigation.

Boston 25 legal expert Peter Elikann said Proctor’s testimony will prove “extraordinarily damaging” to the prosecution.

The prosecution alleges Read committed second-degree murder when she backed into O’Keefe after dropping him off at 34 Fairview Avenue.

The defense aims to prove that O’Keefe was murdered by someone inside 34 Fairview Avenue -- then tossed into the snow.

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