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Expert: Trooper Proctor’s testimony ‘extraordinarily damaging’ for prosecution in Karen Read trial

DEDHAM, Mass. — The “unprofessional and regrettable” text messages about Karen Read that Massachusetts State Police Trooper Michael Proctor sent to friends, family, and fellow troopers after being tasked with leading the investigation into John O’Keefe’s death will prove to be “extraordinarily damaging” to the prosecution in the Mansfield woman’s ongoing murder trial, a legal expert said.

Proctor, the lead investigator assigned to the Read murder case, was finally called to the stand this week, where he had a lot of explaining to do when his personal text messages about O’Keefe’s girlfriend were revealed in court.

On Monday, Jackson grilled Proctor about those messages.

Defense Attorney Alan Jackson: “What did you write after you talked about going through [Read’s phone]?”

Proctor: “No nudes so far.”

Jackson: “Who’s the [expletive] client?”

Proctor: “I was referring to Ms. Read, again, unprofessional language .”

Jackson: “I’m asking you who you were referring to. I don’t need an explanation.”

Proctor also called Read a “wack job” and a “babe with a Fall River accent though” in the series of texts.

Proctor apologized multiple times and told the jury his texts did not impact the investigation.

“The rest of the unprofessional and regrettable comments are something I’m not proud of,” Proctor said.

On Tuesday, Boston 25′s Mark Ockerbloom asked criminal defense attorney Peter Elikann about what Proctor’s testimony means in the eyes of jurors as the trial moves forward.

“You have the lead investigator, who is so questioned now...The integrity, that character, the truthfulness of what he’s saying, unprofessionalism,” Elikann said. “The problem with that is it if the jury starts to think that the lead investigator may not be doing things properly and professionally, then they start looking at the whole investigation.”

Elikann added, “In the minds of the jury, it’s going to raise all kinds of questions. In that way, it [Proctor’s testimony] is going to be extraordinarily damaging.”

Elikann said Read’s lawyers know Proctor’s testimony is a “real body blow” to the entire p[prosecution of the case. Elikann noted that the defense is doing “particularly well,” especially considering they haven’t yet presented their case.

Will the jury convict or acquit Read? Elikann said, “Anything can happen” at this point.

The prosecution alleges Read committed second-degree murder when she backed into O’Keefe after dropping him off at 34 Fairview Avenue in Canton, formerly owned by now-retired Boston police officer Brian Albert.

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

Judge Beverly Cannone hopes this trial will conclude by the end of the month.

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