Court video, updates: Karen Read murder trial continues with voir dire of expert witnesses

DEDHAM, Mass. — The Karen Read murder trial continues Tuesday without jurors present to allow for the voir dire of expert witnesses who may be called to the stand to testify at a later time.

WATCH LIVE: Karen Read murder trial continues with interviews of witnesses who might take stand.

WATCH LIVE: Karen Read murder trial continues with voir dire of expert witnesses who might take the stand at a later time.

Posted by Boston 25 News on Tuesday, June 18, 2024


11:45 a.m.

  • Done for the day. The judge will decide if the medical doctor can testify and rule on what the two crash reconstructionists will be allowed to say. The jury returns on Thursday.

11:30 a.m.

  • Jackson asks: “You were not hired by me or the Commonwealth?” Dr. Rentschler: “That is correct.”

11:15 a.m.

  • A second accident reconstructionist from the company ARCCA is now on the stand. Dr Andrew Rentschler, Ph.D., specializes in biomechanical engineering.

11:05 a.m.

  • Wolfe is one of the experts the feds hired to do accident recon on this case.
  • During a pretrial hearing in March, Jackson said an accident reconstructionist hired by the FBI found O’Keefe’s injuries did not appear to be from a car strike.
  • In March, Jackson said, “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.”

10:55 a.m.

  • Jackson calls Dr. Daniel Wolfe from ARCA, a private ax recon company.
  • His online bio states: Dr. Wolfe is the Director of Accident Reconstruction and specializes in the fields of accident reconstruction, human factors, and lighting.

10:50 a.m.

  • The judge tells ADA Lally to find a rebuttal witness in case she allows Dr. Russell to testify. Lally says that could be done in a week.

10:45 a.m.

  • ADA Lally asks the judge to block Dr. Russell from testifying, suggesting she tried to interject herself in the case and saying the defense brought her in too late.
  • Jackson responds: “We have contrary evidence and Ms. Read should be entitled to present that evidence.”

10:35 a.m.

  • Dr. Marie Russell is excused.
  • The judge says she doesn’t know if she will be allowed to testify and asks if she’ll be around for a few days. The judge says we’ll let you know.

10:25 a.m.

  • ADA Lally’s turn to question Dr. Russell.
  • Lally: You have no training in accident reconstruction? Russell: That is correct.

10:20 a.m.

  • Dr. Marie Russell on wounds to John O’Keefe’s arm: “I, of course, considered what else could have caused these wounds. There were no significant major bodily injuries outside the head… Having seen hundreds and hundreds of car accident victims, I ruled that out very quickly.”

10:10 a.m.

  • Dr. Russell, who is also a former police officer, says she’s seen hundreds of dog bites in her career.
  • She tells Alan Jackson the wounds on John O’Keefe’s arm “appear to be consistent with an animal attack...They are consistent with a large dog attack… Combination of bite wounds and scratches.”

9:50 a.m.

  • Dr. Marie Russell, a retired emergency doctor and forensic pathologist, is called to the stand.
  • Russell has the opinion that John O’Keefe’s arm injuries likely came from a dog attack, not a motor vehicle accident.

9:40 a.m.

  • The judge begins by saying there appears to be a discovery violation by the defense by bringing in Dr. Marie Russell late in the game.
  • Defense attorney Alan Jackson says the state has also been late in providing discovery and pointed to an “interview” Jennifer McCabe did with Lt. Tully that came in late.
  • When the judge asks if McCabe needs to be brought back, Jackson says, “I’ve done the damage that needs to be done to Jennifer McCabe.”


Massachusetts State Police Trooper Joseph Paul, a crash reconstruction analyst, was grilled about his qualifications on Monday after he testified that Read’s SUV was traveling as fast as 24 mph in reverse when it struck O’Keefe in the snow outside 34 Fairview Avenue in Canton in January 2022.

Ian Whiffin, a forensics software expert, also testified about Jennifer McCabe’s “hos long to die in the cold” internet search that was made in the hours after O’Keefe’s body was discovered in the snow.

Nicholas Guarino, another state trooper, read a series of text messages that Read sent to O’Keefe on the day before he was pronounced dead. Prosecutors allege the messages show their relationship was in a bad place.

Some of the texts Guarino read in court were as follows:

  • John O’Keefe: Sick of always arguing in fighting. It’s been weekly for several months now. So yeh, I’m not as quick to jump back into being lovie dovie as you apparently.
  • Karen Read: So you’re not into it anymore. That’s fine. But I don’t want to keep trying and you keep treating me like this.”
  • Karen Read: Tell me if you are interested in someone else. Can’t think of any other reason you’ve been like this.

The prosecution has alleged that Read’s SUV was damaged after she backed over O’Keefe and left him for dead in the snow outside the Canton home of Brian Albert at 34 Fairview Road after a night of drinking.

The defense hopes to prove that O’Keefe was murdered by someone inside Albert’s home and then tossed into the snow.

Tess Chart, a forensic DNA analyst at Bode Technology, and her colleague Nicholas Bradford, testified last week that O’Keefe’s DNA was found on taillight pieces outside the home and those pieces matched Read’s SUV.

Multiple law enforcement officials have also testified to finding pieces of broken taillight on the lawn of 34 Fairview Road after the snow melted away.

Read has pleaded not guilty to charges including second-degree murder in O’Keefe’s death.

The prosecution is expected to wrap up its case by the end of this week. The defense will then present its case.

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