Live video, updates: Former member of MSP crime lab takes stand in Karen Read murder trial

DEDHAM, Mass. — The murder trial of Karen Read, the woman accused of striking her Boston Police Officer boyfriend John O’Keefe with her SUV and leaving him for dead in a snowbank in Canton in January 2022, entered its fifth week of testimony on Tuesday morning.

ATF agent Brian Higgins, who testified about a kiss and flirtatious texts he exchanged with Read, briefly returned to the stand before being excused. The niece and nephew of O’Keefe were called next. A court ruling prohibited them from being shown on all live-streaming coverage of this trial. Justin Rice, an emergency room doctor who worked at Good Samaritan Medical Center, then testified about treating O’Keefe.

Garrey Faller, a pathologist who worked at the hospital with Rice, is now on the stand.

WATCH LIVE: Day 18 of witness testimony in Karen Read murder. trial

WATCH LIVE: Day 18 of witness testimony in Karen Read murder trial with Brian Higgins returning to stand.

Posted by Boston 25 News on Tuesday, May 28, 2024

LIVE PLAY-BY-PLAY FROM NORFOLK SUPERIOR COURT (DY: Defense Attorney David Yannetti, BH: Brian Higgins, KR: Karen Read, JO: John O’Keefe)

2:25 p.m.

  • Nicholas Roberts, a field service engineer at ThermoFisher Scientific, takes the stand after Dr. Faller is excused.
  • He formerly worked at the Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab and Toxicology Unit.

2:05 p.m.

  • Judge Cannone asked the prosecutor and witness to keep their voices up as fans have been placed in the courtroom because of the temp in here. Dr. Faller is a low-talker.
  • Judge orders fans off.

1:45 p.m.

  • The lunch break ends.
  • ADA Lally calls Garrey Faller, a pathologist at Good Samaritan.

1:30 p.m.

  • Wanted to confirm this before posting. The ER doc testified that KR’s serum alcohol level was 93 mg/dl. According to interwebs: the BAC is found by moving the decimal point 3 places to the left making it .093.

12:55 p.m.

  • Dr. Rice is excused. Judge calls lunch break until 1:30 p.m.

12:50 p.m.

  • Dr. Rice says there is no note in his medical report that says JO was or could have been hit by a vehicle as 1st responders have testified they heard Read say.
  • Dr. Rice says he may not have documented all the injuries on JO including to his torso/legs because he was focused on resuscitation efforts.

12:45 p.m.

  • Defense attorney Liza Little is doing the cross on Dr. Rice. He says he doesn’t recall treating Karen Read at all or ordering her blood.

12:30 p.m.

  • Dr. Rice tells ADA Lally he noted, “superficial abrasions on right forearm” of JO. He tells Lally abrasions are “a medical synonym for scratches.”
  • Dr. Rice confirms he also treated KR for a “section 12″ or “involuntarily detention of a person usually for a mental health concern.”

12:20 p.m.

  • Dr. Rice says JO’s body temp was 80 degrees and they attempted to warm him.

12:05 p.m.

  • ADA Lally calls (then) Good Samaritan ER doctor Justin Rice. It’s the hospital JO was taken to.

11:40 a.m.

  • Testimony of 2 minor children is complete.

10:15 a.m.

  • Chief Court Officer just told all media we cannot tweet or take notes on a computer while minor children testify. I’m complying with that directive. Will post after their testimony is done.

9:55 a.m.

  • Higgins is excused. The judge sends the jury out for 10 minutes. Minor children will be next to testify.
  • ***The stream will be turned off during their testimony to protect them. This is the right call.

9:50 a.m.

  • BH says he did not see JO’s body when he left 34 Fairview. He tells ADA Lally as a trained medic: “If I had saw John O’Keefe on the side of the road, I would have done something to make a difference.”
  • Higgins says he was more concerned about his number being online than what was on his phone. DY asks BH why he waited 2 months to get a new phone number if he was so concerned about a target having it. DY: “Are you familiar with the term consciousness of guilt, Mr. Higgins?” AL: Objection Judge: Sustained.

9:45 a.m.

  • BH on destroying his phone. He was working undercover as an ATF agent and said: “A target of an investigation called him on his personal cell”, his (target) girlfriend had obtained it off “open source internet”. He says that in July 2022, he started thinking I had to get rid of the phone itself.
  • Higgins says the phone and SIM card were thrown away with other trash on the military base.

9:40 a.m.

  • Higgins says he was informed on 10/31/22 that the order to preserve his phone had been denied weeks earlier.

9:35 a.m.

  • ADA Lally asking BH about phone records that show the call BA made to him and the 22-second call back at 2:22 am on the night of JO’s death. “I did not” when asked if he spoke with BA by phone. BH does not recall making or receiving a call with BA at that time.

9:30 a.m.

  • BH tells Lally that KR initiated texts with him and he says KR mentioned that and her kiss of him in texts.
  • BH says he didn’t share his texts with KR or with anyone. BH: “On a personal level, I kind of keep things to myself. I was a little embarrassed... not proud of them.”

9:25 a.m.

  • DY ends with questions about Higgins and his phone. ADA Lally is back for a redirect.

9:20 a.m.

  • Higgins says he didn’t transfer anything off his phone including photos and videos when he threw his phone/SIM card away in a dumpster on a military base. Higgins says he was cutting through the base at the time

9:17 a.m.

  • DY: before you threw your phone away you did a factory reset of it? BH: No, I did not
  • On Friday, BH testified he discarded his phone after a defense request to preserve it was denied. Today, DY asked him if he had received notice from the court that the preservation order was denied. He said no.

9:15 a.m.

  • ATF agent Brian Higgins returns to the stand.
  • Alan Jackson had a family commitment and is back in LA. The jury is told not to read into his absence.


Brian Higgins, one of the men the defense claims is involved in a cover-up of O’Keefe’s death, is expected to take the stand once again.

Higgins is an ATF agent who was at 34 Fairview Road in Canton in the hours before and after O’Keefe’s body was found. The defense has long suggested he and others are part of a cover-up to frame Read.

During his testimony Friday, we learned he and Read exchanged flirtatious text messages but they stopped communicating immediately after O’Keefe’s death.

In one of the messages shared in court, Read texted Higgins, “You’re, hot.” “Are you serious or messing with me?” Higgins replied. “No, I’m serious,” Read wrote. “Feeling is mutual. Is that bad? How long have you thought that?” Higgins asked.

Higgins also said Read kissed him outside of O’Keefe’s house, telling the court, “As we were walking out, the defendant planted a kiss on me…Not like a friend.”

Higgins went to 34 Fairview Road, where Brian Albert lived, after being at the Waterfall bar with O’Keefe and Read. He testified that he didn’t see O’Keefe’s body on the front lawn when he left sometime before 1 a.m.

Higgins was also questioned by the defense as to why he went straight to the Canton police station in a blizzard after leaving the Alberts. He said it was to move vehicles.

During the trial Friday, the prosecution suggested Read had moved on from O’Keefe, but the defense suggested Higgins felt snubbed by Read.

“I’m not proud of these text messages, but I take responsibility at the same time,” Higgins said. “John was a friend.”

Higgins’ phone records also show a call from him to Albert, with the defense accusing Higgins of destroying his phone.

Tuesday will be the only day of testimony in the trial this week.

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