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Court video, updates: Friends who attended Brian Albert Jr. party testify in Karen Read murder trial

DEDHAM, Mass. — The daughter of a man who owned a home in Canton where the lifeless body of Boston Police Officer John O’Keefe was found in the snow in January 2022 was the first person on the stand Tuesday for Day 11 of witness testimony in the Karen Read murder trial.

Read’s attorneys tried to connect Albert to Canton firefighter Katie McLaughlin, who responded to the scene when O’Keefe was found. The defense says the two are friends and that multiple pictures of them together prove that. McLaughlin previously testified that she heard Read say, “I hit him [John O’Keefe].”

WATCH LIVE: Day 11 of witness testimony in the Karen Read murder trial.

WATCH LIVE: Day 11 of witness testimony in the Karen Read murder trial.

Posted by Boston 25 News on Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Caitlin Albert was dismissed from the stand shortly before 10 a.m. Her boyfriend, Tristan Morris, was then called up for questioning. Sarah Levinson, who attended Brian Albert Jr.’s birthday on the night of O’Keefe’s, was called after.

Julianna Nagel, who attended the same party with Levinson, is now on the stand. She claims she spotted a “black blob” on the lawn as she was leaving the party.

PLAY-BY-PLAY FROM DAY 11 OF TESTIMONY:

1 p.m.

  • The jury is excused for the day. Lally requests a sidebar. And we are done.

12:55 p.m.

  • Yanetti: If you had seen a person in the snow lying there you would have done something about it? Lally: Objection Judge: Sustained

12:50 p.m.

  • Yanetti: “You never saw that car back up?” Nagel: No

12:35 p.m.

  • Nagel confirms to Yannetti that the first time she shared that with law enforcement (Trooper Proctor) was in October 2022 - 8 months after O’Keefe’s death.

12:30 p.m.

  • Nagel was in McCabe’s car when she says she saw something on the lawn. She says she mentioned it in the car.

12:25 p.m.

  • Julie Nagel tells ADA Lally, “I did notice something out of the ordinary like a black blob… near the flag pole.”

12:00 p.m.

  • Nagel says she saw a black SUV outside 34 Fairview before her brother showed up to pick her up. She said it left before she exited. She said she decided to go home with the McCabe’s instead.

11:50 a.m.

  • Next up is Julianna Nagel. She has previously stated to law enforcement that she saw something on the lawn of 34 Fairview Rd.
  • Nagel was also at 34 Fairview for Brian Albert Jr.’s birthday party. The McCabe’s also drove her home at the end of the night.

11:40 a.m.

  • The defense is sprinkling components of their theory with each witness. Yannetti just asked Sarah Levinson, “You didn’t hear somebody getting hit in the back of the head?”

11:25 a.m.

  • The morning break is over. Yannetti resumes the cross of Sarah Levinson. She went to junior prom with Brian Albert Jr.

11 a.m.

  • Levinson confirms McCabe’s drove her home.
  • The judge calls for morning recess.

10:45 a.m.

  • Levinson says she did not know O’Keefe or Read
  • Levinson says she was looking down when she walked out of 34 Fairview because “she wore shoes her mother told her not to wear” in a snowstorm.

10:40 a.m.

  • Levinson tells ADA Lally she never saw anyone inside 34 Fairview go to the basement of the home.

10:35 a.m.

  • ADA Lally asks Levinson about the mood at 34 Fairview. She says, “Everything was good, happy. We were celebrating.”

10:30 a.m.

  • In pretrial filings, the defense has previously said Levinson was driven home from 34 Fairview by the McCabe’s. “...the McCabes made the executive decision at 2:00 a.m. -- in a snowstorm -- to drop off two of Brian Albert, Jr.’s friends who were in attendance at the party, Julie Nagel and Sarah Levinson” - according to the defense filing.

10:20 a.m.

  • Tristin Morris excused. ADA Lally calls Sarah Levinson to the stand. She’s friends with Brian Albert Jr. and was invited to his birthday party at 34 Fairview Rd on the night of O’Keefe’s death.

10:15 a.m.

  • A moment of levity when Tristen Morris describes Caitlin as “high maintenance” when he explains why he went to pick her up in a snowstorm at 34 Fairview. The jury even laughed.

10:10 a.m.

  • Yannetti shows Morris a picture from 4 days before Read was indicted of him w/McCabe and Albert men “clinching their fists” at a bar and asks, “Were you and the Albert’s and McCabe’s celebrating the indictment of Karen Read?”
  • Morris: No

10 a.m.

  • Tristen Morris tells ADA Lally that Caitlin Albert’s demeanor was “normal as always” when he picked her up from 34 Fairview Rd on 1/29/2022.
  • Yannetti takes over cross-examination questioning.

9:50 a.m.

  • Caitlin Albert is excused. Her boyfriend, Tristin Morris, of Easton, is called to the stand. He drove Caitlin home from her then-parents’ house at 34 Fairview after 1:45 a.m. on the night of O’Keefe’s death.

9:45 a.m.

  • Caitlin Albert tells ADA Lally she had never met lead MSP investigator Michael Proctor before O’Keefe’s death.

9:40 a.m.

  • Yanetti: Did you see a 6′2 man on your parents’ front lawn in front of you? Albert: I did not.

9:35 a.m.

  • Caitlin Albert says she doesn’t remember any time that her father and Brian Higgins were out of her field of vision when everyone returned to then-Albert home after hanging out at the Waterfall bar.

9:25 a.m.

  • Judge calls sidebar after ADA Lally objects to some of Yannetti’s questions about Caitlin Albert and FF’er Katie McLaughlin. McLaughlin previously testified that she heard Karen Read say, “I hit him.”

9:20 a.m.

  • Yannetti shows Caitlin Albert a picture from 6/21 of a baby shower she attended with Katie McLaughlin.
  • Albert then confirmed she went to Maine with her in 7/2016 as part of a group trip.

9:15 a.m.

  • Judge issues a ruling from the bench on Firefighter Katie McLaughlin’s testimony. She tells Defense attorney Yannetti her “view has not changed” but will allow him leeway when questioning Caitlin Albert about her relationship with McLaughlin.
  • Yannetti had previously accused McLaughlin of perjury. It looks like he won’t be able to tell the jury that.

9 a.m.

  • Caitlin Albert, daughter of Brian Albert and former resident of home where John O’Keefe was found, returns to stand.

PREVIOUS STORY:

Canton Firefighter Katie McLaughlin has said that she and Caitlin Albert went to high school together, were friends on social media, and were photographed together at a local beach about a decade ago. But she insisted they were only acquaintances and that she didn’t know it was Albert’s home when she responded to the call. She also said she hadn’t talked to Albert for a few years.

Read, 44, of Mansfield, is facing charges including second-degree murder in the death of O’Keefe, who was her boyfriend at the time. O’Keefe was found dead on the front lawn of the Albert family’s home.

The defense’s theory is that O’Keefe was actually beaten up inside the Albert home and dragged outside in a snowstorm and that the Albert family is at the center of an effort to frame Read.

Prosecutors claim Read drunkenly struck O’Keefe with her luxury Lexus SUV while making a three-point after dropping him off at the home. They allege she fled the scene and left him to die.

Brian Albert and his son, Brian Albert Jr, also took the stand on Monday, marking the beginning of the third week of testimony in the trial.

Albert was grilled by the prosecution about calls he made in the hours after O’Keefe’s death to family, friends, and members of law enforcement. Albert Jr. testified that a dark-colored SUV like Read’s outside his family’s home on the night of O’Keefe’s death.

Last week Brian Albert, along with his wife, Nicole, testified that selling their home and re-homing their dog had nothing to do with O’Keefe’s death. Julie Albert, the wife of current Canton selectman Christopher Albert, was also questioned about her connection to Massachusetts State Police Trooper Michael Proctor, the lead detective assigned to investigate the death of O’Keefe.

Earlier in the trial, testimony focused on a busted cocktail glass and a piece of broken taillight in the snow. The prosecution said the taillight and other evidence led them directly to Read.

Friends who were out at two Canton bars with Read and O’Keefe in the hours before his death have testified that the two appeared to be “affectionate and loving.”

When the trial first started, testimony from first responders focused on Read’s demeanor and the words she uttered at the crime scene.

Testimony from two police officers and two firefighters described Read as distraught and screaming and that O’Keefe had no pulse and wasn’t breathing.

RELATED VIDEO: Witness testimony in Karen Read murder trial from Monday, May 13, 2024

WATCH LIVE: Witness testimony in Karen Read murder trial continues.

WATCH LIVE: Witness testimony in Karen Read murder trial continues.

Posted by Boston 25 News on Monday, May 13, 2024

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