Focus of testimony in Karen Read murder trial shifts to busted cocktail glass, broken taillight

DEDHAM, Mass. — A broken cocktail glass and a piece of broken taillight were among the new items of evidence introduced in the Karen Read murder trial on Tuesday.

The prosecution said the taillight and other evidence led them directly to Read, a 44-year-old Mansfield woman who is facing charges including second-degree murder in the death of her Boston police officer boyfriend John O’Keefe.

The defense has argued that Read is a scapegoat for a well-connected group of people.

Going into Day 7 of testimony on Wednesday, the prosecution is expected to start with a new dashcam video of Read’s Lexus SUV in O’Keefe’s driveway a couple of hours after his body had been found in the snow in the front yard of 34 Fairview Road in January 2022.

The prosecution has previously said that daylight video shows damage to Read’s taillight.

In court Tuesday, the defense continued to question why evidence of the broken taillight wasn’t found until days later.

“Chief Berkowitz brought my attention to a piece of red glass,” Canton Police Lt. Michael Lank testified. “A lot of the snow had melted, and a lot of the ground had been revealed.”

Lank testified that his then-police chief reported seeing a piece of red taillight outside 34 Fairview Road six days after the scene had been thoroughly searched.

But not missed during the initial search was a broken cocktail glass. Prosecutors said there’s surveillance video of O’Keefe leaving a bar with a glass in hand.

Lank was also questioned about the home and he testified that he knew the then-homeowner, retired Boston Police Officer Brian Albert. He said he entered the home three separate times shortly after O’Keefe’s body was transported to the hospital.

The defense has long argued that O’Keefe was beaten up inside the home and then dragged outside.

Of the area he observed, Lank said everything appeared to be in order.

Alan Jackson questioned, “You didn’t search the house for evidence of a fight? That’s all I’m asking.” Lank responded, “No, I wouldn’t have probable cause to do that.”

After court Tuesday, Defense Attorney David Yannetti addressed the testimony about the discovery of the taillight.

“The whole scenario about an older man with not great eyesight driving by, I don’t think the jury will buy it,” Yannetti said.

Photos of items that police used to store and collect evidence at the scene of O’Keefe’s death, including red solo cups, a leaf blower, and a grocery bag, were shown in court on Monday.

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