Massachusetts

Forensic scientists in Karen Read murder trial say O’Keefe’s DNA was on taillight, cocktail glass

DEDHAM, Mass. — On day 24 of testimony in the Karen Read murder trial, a much different feeling in court as no obscene text messages were read out loud, unlike the prior two days.

Thursday, prosecutors called three DNA experts the defense chose not to cross-examine as well as a state police detective and a Needham Police Sergeant.

The defense resumed their cross-examination of Lt. Brian Tully, who is the unit commander of State Police detectives for Norfolk County. He reported Trooper Michael Proctor’s vulgar texts about Karen Read “up his chain of command.” He was questioned about the murder investigation, including what he thought caused O’Keefe’s injuries, the plastic taillight pieces, and statements made by a Canton plow driver.

Read’s defense attorney Alan Jackson asked Tully what, if any, evidence he had that Mr. O’Keefe entered the home at 34 Fairview Road on January 29, to which he replied, “I don’t on the contrary. I have evidence that he was outside.”

Through cell phone pings and surveillance video, Tully suggested Karen Read returned to 34 Fairview sometime after 5:18 a.m. and then left again, while O’Keefe’s body was on the front lawn.

Jackson questioned why Tully never searched inside the home.

Next was Sgt. Brian Gallerani from Needham police who was quickly called to say he took Proctor and Bukhenik’s DNA. The defense did not have any questions for him.

Nicholas Bradford, a forensic DNA analyst at Bode Technology, and his colleague, Tess Chart, were both brought to the stand. They had both testified that John O’Keefe’s DNA was found on taillight pieces found outside 34 Fairview Avenue in Canton that matched Read’s SUV.

“The hair sample was consistent with the mitochondrial DNA profile obtained from John O’Keefe,” Chart said.

Andre Porto, a forensic scientist at the Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab, testified that a DNA profile found on a drinking glass at the scene matched O’Keefe’s.

“The DNA profile from this item is at least 510 nonillion times more likely if it originated from John O’Keefe,” Porto said.

Jackson argues the hair was planted and as for the other items — no big deal.

He says Read did not return to 34 Fairview as the prosecution suggests.

After court, Jackson told reporters Read was traveling to Jennifer McCabe’s home in a snowstorm – and it took her extra time to find it because she’d never been there before.

Another full day of testimony is planned for Friday

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