Karen Read’s lawyers argue phone records further conspiracy claim

DEDHAM, Mass. — Lawyers for Karen Read want phone records from people they claim helped frame her for murder.

An assistant district attorney said the request was based on inaccurate conclusions “injected with hyperbole.”

Read is charged with 2nd-degree murder for the death of her boyfriend, Boston Police Officer John O’Keefe, in Canton. She’s accused of running over him in reverse and leaving him to die in a January 2022 snowstorm.

Defense attorney David Yannetti said a separate federal investigation of the events surrounding O’Keefe’s death found phone calls made by state prosecution witnesses that were not previously disclosed to police.

Yannetti is seeking phone records from retired Boston Police Officer Brian Albert. O’Keefe was found on Albert’s front lawn hours after Albert hosted a gathering that O’Keefe was invited to. The defense has claimed O’Keefe was beaten up inside the home and dragged outside. According to the prosecution, Read struck O’Keefe with her Lexus SUV when she dropped him off there and he never entered the home.

Yannetti said the federal investigation found Brian Albert and Brian Higgins, an ATF agent who attended the gathering spoke by phone at 2:22 a.m., about 3 and a half hours before O’Keefe’s body was discovered.

“We learned that neither party to that call ever revealed to police, investigators, or prosecutors that they connected by phone in those early morning hours,” Yannetti said. “When he was first confronted, Brian Higgins first tried to claim that it had to have been a butt dial. That term butt dial is used by many of the Commonwealth’s witnesses to explain the many calls between them.”

Greg Henning, an attorney for Brian Albert, said Albert does not object to releasing his phone records because he has nothing to hide. Henning revealed that he spoke with the US Attorney’s Office for Massachusetts and was given permission to tell the court that Brian Albert is not the target of the federal investigation.

An attorney for Brian Higgins said federal authorities were not targeting him either. Higgins is fighting the request for his phone records on privacy grounds.

“He received a Congressional Medal for saving the life of a fellow ATF task force officer after being shot five times in Somerville, Massachusetts. He has served our military in Iraq,” Higgin’s attorney William Connolly said.

The Norfolk DA’s office is also opposing the records request. Assistant District Attorney Adam Lally called it the epitome of a fishing expedition. Lally said the defense’s interpretation of the federal findings is, “directly contradicted by the testimony and the evidence contained within the federal materials.”

Judge Cannone did not immediately rule on the request. The defense is expected to argue their 3rd motion to dismiss the case on Tuesday.

Watch the full hearing below:

WATCH LIVE: Karen Read, woman charged in murder of police officer boyfriend, back in court.

WATCH LIVE: Karen Read, woman charged in murder of police officer boyfriend, returns to court.

Posted by Boston 25 News on Wednesday, March 20, 2024



Karen Read, the woman charged in the death of her Boston police officer boyfriend, is appearing in court Wednesday for another hearing in her murder case.

Read, of Mansfield, returns to Norfolk Superior Court at 2 p.m. for a hearing on all Rule 17 motions seeking phone records from several current and former members of law enforcement, as well as records from the Massachusetts State Police Internal Affairs Unit.

Read’s legal team filed the motions last week and requested that they be impounded.

You can watch the hearing LIVE on Boston25News.com and in the Boston 25 News app.

Today also marks the deadline for all pretrial, non-evidentiary motions to be filed.

When Read last appeared in court on March 12, her attorney, Alan Jackson, presented a motion to dismiss the second-degree murder case.

Read is accused of running down Boston Police Officer John O’Keefe in reverse with her Lexus SUV in Canton and leaving him to die in a blizzard in 2022 but an accident reconstructionist hired by the FBI found O’Keefe’s injuries did not appear to be from a car strike.

“The damage on the car was inconsistent with having made contact with John O’Keefe’s body. In other words, the car didn’t hit him, and he wasn’t hit by the car. Period. Full stop,” Jackson told the court.

Jackson revealed that and other findings from 3,074 pages of documents the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Massachusetts turned over last month from the federal probe of Read’s arrest and prosecution.

He told Judge Beverly Cannone that the federal investigation found inconsistencies and conflicts that should lead to the dismissal of her second-degree murder case.

The defense claims O’Keefe was beaten and attacked by a dog inside the former Canton home of another Boston police officer named Brian Albert in a wide-ranging cover-up involving local and state law enforcement.

Jackson said Massachusetts State Police Detective Michael Proctor, the lead detective assigned to investigate O’Keefe’s death, had a personal relationship with members of the Albert family that was not disclosed to the state grand jury that indicted Read.

The Massachusetts State Police Internal Affairs Unit later confirmed to Boston 25 News that it was investigating Proctor for a potential violation of department policy in connection with the Read case.

State police last week told 25 Investigates that Trooper Proctor remains on full active duty amid the investigation.

An attorney for Proctor said he is cooperating fully with the investigation and “remains steadfast in the integrity of the work he performed investigating the death of Mr. John O’Keefe.”

In late February, Judge Beverly Cannone agreed to push back Read’s murder trial from March 12 to April 16.

Read is due in court at 2 p.m.


This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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