Court video, updates: Jennifer McCabe, key witness in Karen Read murder trial, returns to stand

DEDHAM, Mass. — The Karen Read murder trial entered Week 4 of witness testimony on Tuesday.

Jennifer McCabe returned to the witness stand to be cross-examined by Read’s defense team. The timing of McCabe’s Google search, “How long to die in cold,” has raised many questions in this case.

WATCH LIVE: Day 15 of witness testimony in Karen Read murder trial.

WATCH LIVE: Day 15 of witness testimony in the Karen Read murder trial.

Posted by Boston 25 News on Tuesday, May 21, 2024

LIVE PLAY-BY-PLAY UPDATES FROM COURT (KR: Karen Read, JM: Jennifer McCabe, AJ: Alan Jackson, JO: John O’Keefe)

1 p.m.

  • Tuesday’s testimony concludes.

12:55 p.m.

  • JM says she initially told Trooper Tully that she didn’t remember going to Michael Lank’s home then she remembered it.
  • JM confirmed she previously said her calls to JO’s phone must have been “butt-dials.” AJ says records show six calls between 12:29 to 12:50 on 1/29. That’s around the time the prosecution alleges JO was killed.

12:50 p.m.

  • JM says she asked “what discovery may have been turned in about me” re: her meeting with ADA Lally and others at the DA’s office a couple of weeks ago.

12:45 p.m.

  • JM says she went to Lt. Lank’s house and she says she and Kerry Roberts spoke to Lt Lank’s wife on 1/30 for about an hour. She says she may have gone in to go to the bathroom. She says the 1st time the visit came up was a couple of weeks ago during a meeting at the DA’s office.

12:40 p.m.

  • JM on Kerry Robert’s statements to police and her texts about it: “We had both lost our friends… the two of us had all this information that kept coming back to us… I was happy for her because she was piecing it all together… that’s what you do when you lose someone you love... there’s no story, the story you created is not the truth.”

12:35 p.m.

  • JM also texted to the group, “I love it” re: Kerry Roberts’ statements to police. JM previously said texts are being taken out of context.

12:30 p.m.

  • In previous testimony, JM said she didn’t remember texting the “EVERYTHING” line, according to AJ. JM: “EVERYTHING was a comment about your client.”

12:25 p.m.

  • AJ says JM texted the group about Kerry Robert’s statements to the police. “She’s telling them EVERYTHING.” “All the stuff.” JM says Kerry was giving statements that “horrified her.” JM says it was a comment about KR and JO’s relationship.

12:20 p.m.

  • AJ asks JM about the group text where she said was “creating a timeline” of the events with Kerry Roberts. “Did you influence” Kerry Robert’s statements? JM: “Absolutely not, Kerry is her own person.”

12:15 p.m.

  • AJ: You sanitized your phone because you didn’t want the police to know you were calling JO incessantly? (between 12:14 am to 12:50 am according to AJ)
  • AJ asking about the “tell them the guy never went into the house” message on the group chat. AJ asks if that shows “collusion.” JM says no. Matt McCabe previously testified that statement was about an interview with Ch. 4

McCabe says police allowed her to delete texts with her daughter before she turned her phone over.

JM: “I do not recall deleting any phone calls”

11:45 a.m.

  • JM to AJ: “You’re creating a scene that didn’t happen.” AJ: “I’m not creating anything, Ms. McCabe.”

11:40 a.m.

  • JM: “I’m an honest and truthful person” when AJ asks her if she would tell the truth about conversations with her family members.

11:35 a.m.

  • AJ: “I know you want to answer your own questions, I would like you to answer my questions.”
  • JM: “I never deleted any calls when I willingly handed my phone over.”

11:30 a.m.

  • Karen Read is heard screaming “Kerry, Kerry, Kerry” (Kerry Roberts) on the voicemail that picked up JM’s 911 call and noise in the background.

11:20 a.m.

  • Jennifer McCabe returns to stand after morning recess.
  • AJ asked JM again about her previous testimony. AJ says JM previously testified that KR said, “Did I hit him, could I have hit him, Is he dead...”

11 a.m.

  • Jury excused for morning recess. These usually last about 20 minutes.

10:55 a.m.

  • JM says she told 911 “he got out of the car” because she says Karen Read told her that.
  • Jackson wants to introduce 3rd party recording of a 911 call from JM’s voicemail. ADA Lally has no objection.
  • Jackson says a good time to break because defense is pulling up the call.

10:50 a.m.

  • AJ says in her state grand jury testimony, JM testified, “Did I hit him? Could I have hit him?” Her testimony today is that she heard KR say, “I hit him (3x).” JM: “I was answering the question I was asked.”
  • AJ: “The truth of this matter is that you manufactured this story for the jury because it helps you out.” JM: “Absolutely, not.”

10:45 a.m.

  • AJ: Turn to the page (from state GJ testimony) where you said KR said, “I hit him, I hit him, I hit him.” AJ: “You know you never testified to that.” JM: “I can’t recall. It’s over 200 pages. AJ says JM was asked “no fewer than 12 times” about what KR said at the scene or the car ride leading up.

10:35 a.m.

  • JM: I never saw a body. I wish I had. AJ: Sounds like that was a little rehearsed. JM: Not at all.

10:30 a.m.

  • AJ: I have a question Ms. McCabe, where was the body? JM: I don’t know. I assume the body was on the front lawn.

10:15 a.m.

  • AJ asks JM if she mentioned seeing Higgins’ Jeep in prior testimony. JM: “I may have not been asked about the Jeep so I may have not mentioned it.”

10:10 a.m.

  • JM appears to reference her testimony to a federal grand jury when she asks to see a transcript AJ is referring to: JM: “I’ve had 2 grand juries so if you can show me I would appreciate it.”
  • AJ shows her testimony from her state grand jury testimony.

10 a.m.

  • When JM went into Brian and Nicole Albert’s bedroom to wake them up on the 29th:

AJ: “You don’t remember a 70-pound German Shepherd having a reaction?

AJ: You don’t remember seeing that dog at all?

JM: I didn’t see it, no.

  • The defense has previously asked if Chloe the dog was taken out of the home.

9:55 a.m.

  • McCabe’s attorney Kevin Reddington is back in the courtroom in the same spot sitting behind the podium where the questions are asked.

9:45 a.m.

  • JM says the location of KR’s SUV as noted by MSP Trooper Michael Proctor from her interview with him on 1/29/22 is not correct AJ says she placed KR’s SUV in the same spot where Brian Higgins’ Jeep was parked.
  • When asked about the conversations she’s had about this case, JM says, “The facts are not spoken as much as the vicious harassment is spoken about.”

9:35 a.m.

  • The court reporter is asking that both parties not speak over each other. Judge tells JM to wait until AJ is finished asking his question to respond

9:30 a.m.

  • AJ shows a video from outside Waterfall and asks Jennifer McCabe (JM) if she recognizes John O’Keefe (JO) and herself.
  • JM confirms she asked KR to come back to 34 Fairview with her. AJ asks if that would separate JO and KR.

9:25 a.m.

  • AJ: “John O’Keefe wasn’t family. He wasn’t a McCabe or an Albert?” JM: No
  • She responds the same when asked about Karen Read (KR) being family.

9:15 a.m.

  • Alan Jackson (AJ), Karen Read’s attorney, begins the cross-examination of Jennifer McCabe.


Monday marked an off day in the trial. On Friday, McCabe testified that she was with Read when they found O’Keefe’s body.

McCabe had been out at local bars with her husband, O’Keefe, and Read the night of Jan. 28, 2022, before O’Keefe was found dead in the snow outside of 34 Fairview Road in Canton.

McCabe testified that Read repeatedly asked if she could have hit O’Keefe with her luxury Lexus SUV, telling the court that she heard her tell a first responder, “I hit him.”

McCabe says Read asked her to make the Google search after they found O’Keefe. There have also been questions about whether Read had a broken taillight. McCabe claims she saw it on the morning of O’Keefe’s death.

“Karen brings us to the back of the car and says look see I have a cracked taillight,” McCabe testified.

McCabe also stated that Read didn’t remember going to the Albert family home at 34 Fairview the night before and that O’Keefe never went into the house.

Read, 44, of Mansfield, has been charged with second-degree murder, among other charges, in the death of O’Keefe, her boyfriend.

It’s alleged that Read didn’t discover O’Keefe’s body until about 6 a.m. on Jan 29. First responders have testified that she was hysterical and inconsolable.

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.

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