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Testimony continues in Karen Read murder trial: Watch live

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Colin Albert, a key witness in the controversial and closely-watched Karen Read murder trial, took the stand Wednesday afternoon to testify about what he remembers about the events on the night that Boston Police Officer John O'Keefe died.

Albert is the son of Canton Select Board member Chris Albert and his wife Julie Albert, and the nephew of retired Boston Police Officer Brian Albert, who owned the home where O'Keefe was found on the morning on Jan. 29, 2022.

Watch the Karen Read trial live on nbcboston.com, NECN, NBC Boston streaming platforms (including Roku, Peacock and Samsung TV) and NBC10 Boston's YouTube page. Every night of the trial at 7 p.m., come back for analysis and more.

Read is charged with second-degree murder in the death of O'Keefe, her boyfriend. He was found in the snow outside retired Brian Albert's home in Canton. Prosecutors say Read hit O'Keefe with her SUV, while Read says she has been framed in a wide-ranging coverup, claiming the Albert family and the state's lead investigator, a family friend, put the blame on Read.

Read has pleaded not guilty and is free on bond.

Here's a closer look at Wednesday's testimony:

Julie Nagel returns to the stand

Nagel returned to the stand Wednesday morning, a day after testifying that she saw a black SUV outside the Albert home and a "black blob" on the lawn as she left the house on Jan. 29, 2022, the day of O'Keefe's death.

But she only wound up testifying for a few minutes, answering questions on redirect from Assistant District Attorney Adam Lally. She spoke again about the dark object she saw on the front lawn, again describing it as 5-6 feet long, and said she wasn't expecting to see anything in that part of the yard.

She said if she had realized the object was a body, she would have called 911 and told everyone else in the car as well.

Nagel said she only realized the next day that it might have been a body.

Defense attorney David Yannetti followed up by asking why, if Nagel realized that it might have been a body the next day, she didn't call 911 or police at that point. And she also acknowledged that her testimony Tuesday -- 2-1/2 years after she saw it -- was the first time she ever mentioned that the object she saw was 5-6 feet long.

On Day 12 we heard about some of the DNA evidence in the Karen Read murder case, and heard more from witnesses described seeing a black SUV with a woman inside. Follow NBC10 Boston on... Instagram: instagram.com/nbc10boston TikTok: tiktok.com/@nbc10boston Facebook: facebook.com/NBC10Boston X: twitter.com/NBC10Boston

Forensic scientist Teri Kun takes the stand

Wednesday's second witness was Teri Kun, a forensic scientist with the University of California, Davis. She testified about how DNA samples are collected and stored and explained that she worked on the Read case. She also testified about a DNA sample that Lally said was taken from O'Keefe's shirt.

She said the only DNA result that was positive was for pig, and mentioned that could have come from food, like cooked bacon. There was no dog DNA on the samples she tested.

On cross-examination, defense attorney Alan Jackson asked if Kun got any clothing or other items to test, only the two swabs sent to her by Massachusetts State Police. Jackson said the quality of the testing is only as good as the swabs sent to her.

"I only have the swabs to test. That's the only thing I can talk about," Kun acknowledged. "It's dependent on the agency sending it in... I wasn't there to see the swabs being collected, so I have no idea."

Jackson also asked Kun if blood evidence should be stored in plastic cups, since previous police testimony had showed that frozen blood samples retrieved from the scene where O'Keefe was found were kept in red plastic Solo cups in a paper Stop & Shop bag.

"Would you put biological material in plastic containers?" Jackson asked.

"No," Kun replied.

"You wouldn't use a Solo cup?" Jackson said.

"What?" Kun responded, before Lally objected.

Jackson also asked Kun if the pig DNA could have come from a dog treat, and Kun said that is possible.

Ryan Nagel testifies

The third witness of the day was Ryan Nagel, Julie's brother. Lally asked where Nagel was on Jan. 28, 2022.

Nagel said he went to C.F. McCarthy's bar in Canton with his now ex-girlfriend and another friend that night to meet up with his sister Julie.

Later that night, he said he was at the Hillside Pub in Canton when he got a text from his sister asking him to pick her up at the Albert home on Fairview Road.

He said his friend drove them to the Albert home, and while they were in front of the house he said he saw a black SUV pull up to the house. But he said he didn't see anyone get out of it at any point.

Nagel said he waited for his sister for a couple minutes, at which time she came out of the house from a side door near the garage, crossing the lawn on the way.

He said he opened the door of the truck to let his sister in. She invited the group into the house, but they declined because they had already been out for a long time and were ready to call it a night.

Julie Nagel told her brother that she wanted to stay a little longer, and she went back into the house.

Lally then asked Ryan Nagel about the black SUV again. Nagel said he noticed the brake lights were on, and saw the vehicle move up at one point. He said he didn't notice any damage on the vehicle.

As they left the home, Nagel said they drove around the black SUV and he saw a person in the vehicle.

"I observed that there was a person inside the car with a interior light on," he said. "They were in the driver's seat. It was a woman. She had long hair."

Nagel said it seemed like the woman was looking straight ahead with her hands at "10 and 2 on the steering wheel."

He said he didn't see anyone else in the vehicle at the time.

During cross-examination, Jackson established that Nagel had an interview with state police. During that interview, Nagel said he told investigators that two other people were in the truck with him on that night.

Jackson also asked about Nagel's sister, and when she came out the side door of the home. He also had Nagel go over the conversation with his sister, and her decision to ultimately stay at the house. Nagel said he watched his sister return to the house as the truck he was in pulled away from the house.

Jackson asked if all of the taillights on the black SUV he saw were intact.

Nagel said he did notice the brake lights were on, and he didn't notice any damage. But he also said he had had several drinks at that point.

Jackson also asked if Nagel noticed the SUV reverse and back up, and if he saw it hit a pedestrian, or if he saw anyone standing or lying on the lawn. Nagel said he did not.

Heather Maxon testifies

The day's fourth witness was Heather Maxon, Ryan Nagel's ex-girlfriend. She was in the vehicle with Nagel when they went to the Alberts' home on Fairview Road on the night of Jan. 28, 2022.

She testified to many of the same details that Nagel had earlier in the day.

Maxon testified that as they approached the Albert home, they saw a black SUV in front of them with a female driving and a male in the passenger's seat. She is now the third person to testify about seeing the black SUV, but the first to say that she saw a man in the vehicle.

She also said that when they arrived at the Albert home, the black SUV was parked outside the house, just a couple feet in front of where they parked their vehicle. But she said she never saw anyone get out of the SUV.

When they left the house, Maxon said the black SUV was still in front of the house, and was running, with its exterior and interior lights on. She also testified that she saw a woman in the driver's seat of the SUV. She said she did not see anyone else in the vehicle.

After they left the house, Maxon said they went back to Ryan Nagel's house, where she spent the night. She said she didn't remember what time they arrived back at Nagel's residence.

Jackson then cross-examined Maxon about when she was first contacted by investigators in the Read case -- approximately 18 months after O'Keefe's death.

Richard "Ricky" D'Antuono testifies

The next witness up was Richard "Ricky" D'Antuono. He was the driver of the truck that Ryan Nagel and Heather Maxon were riding in on the night on Jan. 28, 2022, when they went to the Albert house.

He also testified about the two Canton bars the trio went to that night before getting the call from Julie Nagel to come pick her up at the Albert home on Fairview Road.

D'Antuono said when he arrived at the Albert home, there was a black SUV parked about 10-20 yards in front of him. He said he observed no damage to the vehicle.

He said he never saw anyone get out of the vehicle or saw the vehicle move.

Under cross-examination, Yannetti asked if D'Antuono saw the black SUV strike anyone or if he heard anyone arguing. D'Antuono said he did not.

D'Antuono also said he was not interviewed by investigators until the following year. The first statement he gave in the case was about a year ago, on May 16, 2023, and it was not to the district attorney's office or state police who were investigating the Read case. He didn't say who interviewed him.

Yannetti appeared to be trying to show that by the time D'Antuono was interviewed, his recollection might not have been as fresh as if he were interviewed in the immediate aftermath of O'Keefe's death.

D'Antuono said he was focused on driving and he did not look inside the SUV as he drove away from the house to see who was inside. He also said he never saw anyone standing outside the SUV or sitting or lying on the lawn outside the vehicle.

Allison McCabe testifies

Just before the lunch break, Allison McCabe, the daughter of Jennifer and Matthew McCabe, was called by the prosecution to testify.

She said she was a senior in high school on Jan. 28, 2022, and she had been out with friends that night when she received a call or a text around midnight from Colin Albert asking if she could pick him up at the Alberts' home on Fairview Road and drive him home. Allison McCabe said she and Colin Albert are close friends.

Brian and Nicole Albert are Allison McCabe's aunt and uncle, and Colin Albert is their nephew on Brian's side of the family.

Allison McCabe testified that she picked Colin Albert up at the Albert home on Fairview Road and dropped him off at his house before going to her own home.

Court adjourned for lunch around 12:50 p.m. and is expected to resume around 2 p.m.

After the lunch break, McCabe continued her testimony, telling Lally that she dropped Colin Albert off at his house about seven minutes away from Fairview Road and saw him go inside before she left. She returned to her house sometime before 12:30 p.m., and said her parents were not yet home.

She also testified that state police investigators at some point asked for the contents of her phone, including text messages between McCabe and Colin Albert on the evening of Jan. 28, 2022.

Lally entered a text exchange between McCabe and Colin Albert into evidence.

Two texts from Colin Albert sent at 11:54 p.m. on Jan. 28, 2022, said, "U can get me now. If easier."

"ok I am driving ppl home now," McCabe replied a minute later.

"Word. Get me after," Colin Albert said

"kk," McCabe replied, and then around 12:10 a.m. on Jan. 29, 2022 said "here."

Colin Albert then texted "OK."

Several photos were also entered into evidence from a party about two weeks later, on Feb. 11, 2022, at the home of Brian and Nicole Albert to celebrate a family member returning home from military service. One photo showed Colin and his aunt Nicole Albert and another showed Colin and someone else who is blacked out.

On cross-examination from Yannetti, Albert acknowledged that Colin Albert is "one of my best friends."

Yannetti also asked if the text exchange between McCabe and Colin Albert on Jan. 28 and 29, 2022, was ever requested by investigators in the Read case. McCabe said it was not, and she didn't turn over the screen shot until sometime during the summer of 2023, about a year and a half or more after O'Keefe's death. By that time, McCabe said she had already upgraded her phone.

The defense also presented McCabe with information from the Life360 app her family used showing that she had left her house in the early-morning hours on Jan. 29, 2022, and gone to Canton High School, though she had previously said she had returned home and stayed home. But McCabe said she didn't recall any of that.

While being questioned by Lally about the harassment she and her family have faced in connection with the Read case, McCabe became emotional, her eyes filling with tears.

Colin Albert testifies

The next witness up was Colin Albert, the son of Chris and Julie Albert. He testified that he left his parents' home in Canton on the night of Jan. 28, 2022, and went to a friend's house about 7-8 minutes away. While there, he said he drank several Bud Lights before getting a ride to his uncle Brian Albert's house on Fairview Road, where his cousin Brian Albert Jr. was celebrating his birthday with friends.

He said the mood in the house was "happy" when he arrived around 10:30 or 11 p.m. that night.

Albert said he stayed at the house for about 90 minutes, and then texted his friend Allison McCabe to get a ride home. When she arrived, he said he came out of the side door of the house and saw his uncle Brian Albert and aunt Nicole, who were arriving at the house.

"I just said, 'I'm going home. My mom wants me home. I love you guys, bye,'" Colin Albert said.

He said Allison McCabe drove him straight home, and when he arrived there, his parents and his brother were there. He said he told his parents he was home and then went to sleep.

Lally asked Colin Albert if he was familiar with O'Keefe. He said he knew him because his parents were friendly with him. He said he never had any animosity toward O'Keefe or had any arguments with him, describing him as a nice guy.

Colin Albert was also asked if he saw O'Keefe at his uncle's house on the night of Jan. 28, 2022, and he said he didn't.

He was also asked if he knew Read, and he said he knew of her, knew she was dating O'Keefe, and had seen her and waved to her on several occasions.

Colin Albert also acknowledged that at some point he was interviewed by state police, and provided them with a screenshot of a text communication between him and Allison McCabe. Lally then displayed the same text exchange shown during McCabe's previous testimony, where the two of them discussed McCabe picking Colin Albert up at the Fairview Road home. He also again showed the photos from the Feb. 11 party.

The final question from Lally focused on whether Colin Albert saw anyone else other than his aunt and uncle when he left the Fairview Road home on Jan. 28, 2022. He said he did not.

Court adjourned shortly before 4 p.m., and testimony is expected to pick up Thursday morning with the defense cross-examination of Colin Albert. Thursday will be a half-day of testimony.

You can watch Tuesday's testimony in the Karen Read trial below:

Watch Karen Read trial Day 11 testimony (May 14, 2024)

More on the Karen Read trial

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