Norfolk County

Canton detective put on leave after trooper’s testimony in Karen Read murder trial, chief says

CANTON, Mass. — A Canton Police detective was placed on paid leave back in June following the testimony of an embattled state police trooper in the Karen Read murder trial, according to authorities.

Canton Police Chief Helena Rafferty said Detective Kevin Albert was placed on administrative leave with pay as of June 13. He is the brother of former Boston police officer Brian Albert, who owned the home at 34 Fairview Avenue in Canton where Read’s Boston police officer boyfriend John O’Keefe was found dead in January 2022.

The suspension came on the heels of Trooper Michael Proctor’s explosive testimony. Text messages indicated that Albert and Proctor went out on July 19, 2022, five months after the death of O’Keefe.

The next day Proctor texted Albert that he found his badge in his cruiser and asked Albert where he should leave it for him. Proctor was the lead investigator in the murder case and previously stated he had no known relations with anyone involved, including the Albert family.

Defense attorney Alan Jackson said in court on June 12, “Kevin Albert responds ‘my mailbox, did I take my gun?’ It included a wincing face.” Jackson went on to press Proctor about whether or not the two had been drunk.

“He left his badge in your cruiser after a night of drinking, isn’t that right?” Jackson questioned. “Yes,” said Proctor.

Jackson continued, “Which means you were drinking and driving in your cruiser right?” Proctor responded, “From what I remember we were down the cape working on a cold case together, stopped for dinner, for beers, and dropped him off.”

More texts include Albert texting Proctor, “It’s bad!! I was hungover for sure today.”

Proctor said on the stand that he didn’t recall either of them being intoxicated that night.

State police suspended Proctor without pay earlier this week following a duty-status hearing. An internal affairs investigation into his “unprofessional” behavior following the death of O’Keefe is ongoing.

Proctor came under fire for a series of disparaging texts about Read that he sent to friends, family, and supervisors, which he read aloud in court during her trial.

In those texts, Proctor commented on Read’s physical appearance, used vulgar language, suggested he had made up his mind based on evidence as to Read’s guilt, and said he wished Read would kill herself.

Proctor admitted on the stand that the texts were “unprofessional” and he apologized multiple times, telling the jury his texts did not impact his investigation.

Read is accused of killing O’Keefe by striking him with her SUV and leaving him in a snowstorm in Canton in January 2022.

Prosecutors said Read and O’Keefe had been drinking heavily before she dropped him off at a party at the home of Brian Albert, a fellow officer. They said she hit him with her SUV before driving away.

The defense sought to portray Read as the victim, saying O’Keefe was actually killed inside Brian Albert’s home and then dragged outside and left for dead.

The Norfolk County District Attorney still plans to retry Read after her case ended in a mistrial last week.

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