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Karen Read murder trial: Key witness, Colin Albert, begins his testimony

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THE STAND. LET'S JUST TAKE A LOT OF HARASSMENT. CAN I HAVE A MOMENT, PLEASE? SURE. IT HAS BEEN THE MOST EMOTIONAL DAY OF TESTIMONY SO FAR. NEWSCENTER 5 DAVID BIENICK IS LIVE AT THE COURTHOUSE IN DEDHAM WITH THIS DAVID ERIKA THAT YOUNG WOMAN YOU JUST HEARD FROM IS A FAMILY MEMBER DESCRIBING SOME OF THE HARASSMENT. SHE SAYS HER FAMILY HAS RECEIVED FROM KAREN READING SUPPORTERS. YOU'RE GOING TO HEAR MORE FROM HER COMING UP TONIGHT AT SIX. BUT FIRST, IT WAS ALSO IMPORTANT TESTIMONY HERE TODAY ABOUT REED'S SUV AND WHEN EXACTLY JOHN O'KEEFE GOT OUT OF IT. RYAN NAGLE HAD GONE WITH TWO FRIENDS THAT NIGHT TO PICK UP HIS YOUNGER SISTER, JULIE, FROM A PARTY AT 34 FAIRVIEW ROAD. SHE SHOT ME A TEXT ASKING FOR A RIDE AS NICOLE PULLED UP IN HIS FRIEND'S PICKUP. THE THREE OF THEM SAW A BLACK SUV SIMILAR TO KAREN REED'S PARKED AND STILL RUNNING IN FRONT OF THE HOUSE. IN FACT, NAGLE'S GIRLFRIEND HAD FIRST NOTICED THE SUV AS THEY TURNED ONTO THE STREET WITH TWO PEOPLE INSIDE. I NOTICED A MALE AND A FEMALE IN THE CAR. THE PICKUP THEN PULLED UP BEHIND THE SUV AND NAGLE'S SISTER CAME OUT, BUT DECIDED NOT TO LEAVE AND WENT BACK IN AS THE PICKUP PULLED AWAY, IT WENT PAST THE SUV AND NAGLE SAYS HE NOTICED AN INTERIOR LIGHT WAS ON AND A WOMAN IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT SEEMED LIKE SHE WAS LOOKING STRAIGHT AHEAD WITH HER HANDS. AT TEN AND TWO ON THE STEERING WHEEL. BUT NONE OF THE THREE PEOPLE IN THE PICKUP SAY THEY SAW THE MALE PASSENGER. AT THAT POINT, THE DEFENSE HAS SAID THAT O'KEEFE HAD GONE INSIDE THE HOUSE, WHERE THEY SAY HE WAS KILLED IN A FIGHT, AND THEY SUGGESTED O'KEEFE HAD GOTTEN OUT OF THE SUV WITHOUT THE PEOPLE IN THE PICKUP, NOTICED YOU WERE NOT MONITORING WHAT WAS GOING ON INSIDE OR OUTSIDE THAT BLACK SUV. CORRECT? CORRECT. BUT THE PROSECUTOR SUGGESTED O'KEEFE WAS STILL IN THE THE SUV AT THAT TIME, AND THAT THE PEOPLE IN THE PICKUP SIMPLY DIDN'T SEE HIM. AND FAIR TO SAY THAT IF A SIX FOOT MAN HAD WALKED FROM THE SUV TO THE HOUSE, IS THA

Karen Read murder trial: Key witness, Colin Albert, begins his testimony

She's accused of killing her boyfriend, John O'Keefe, with an SUV during a winter storm.

A key witness began to testify late Wednesday during an emotional day in the murder trial of Karen Read, the Massachusetts woman whose defense claims her Boston police officer boyfriend was beaten by someone else and bitten by a dog before he was left outside to die in a snowstorm. Read, 44, of Mansfield, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and other charges. The prosecution says she hit her boyfriend, John O'Keefe, with her black SUV outside of a home at 34 Fairview Road in Canton during a snowstorm on Jan. 29, 2022, following a night of drinking. Her defense plans to argue that someone else is responsible for killing O'Keefe.Colin Albert, one of the three people the defense has tried to implicate in O'Keefe's death, began his testimony during the final hour of court on Wednesday. He was in high school at the time but testified that he was drinking beer at a friend's house before going to 34 Fairview Rd. to celebrate his cousin's birthday.Albert said he spent about 90 minutes there before texting Allie McCabe for a ride and leaving around 12:10 p.m. Albert said he never saw O'Keefe on the night in question and testified that they had no animosity or arguments. Also during the afternoon session, Allie McCabe became emotional during her testimony about the harassment that witnesses have faced because of this high-profile case. Testimony Wednesday began with an animal DNA expert who testified for the prosecution. Teri Kun, a forensic scientist from the University of California, Davis, who specializes in animal DNA, received two swabs of DNA taken from a shirt that the Massachusetts State Police crime lab sent for testing."There was absolutely no canine DNA," Kun said, adding that there was pig DNA detected, which could have come from a live animal or a food source such as cooked pork or bacon.In previous testimony, several witnesses testified about Chloe, the dog that lived at the home owned by the Alberts where O'Keefe was found dead. The defense has tried to portray the dog as "not good with strangers;" however, the defense has not explicitly said Chloe attacked O'Keefe.Live updates: Follow posts from reporter David BienickRelated links:Recap of testimony, evidence from each day of the case Evidence slideshowWhat to know about the case:Karen Read, 44, of Mansfield, is accused of second-degree murder and other charges. The prosecution says she hit her boyfriend, Boston police officer John O'Keefe, with her vehicle outside of a home in Canton during a snowstorm on Jan. 29, 2022, following a night of drinking. She returned hours later to find him in a snowbank.Read has pleaded not guilty.Read and her defense team claim she is the victim of a cover-up and plan to present a third-party culprit defense. They claim O'Keefe was beaten inside the home, bitten by a dog, and then left outside.In pretrial motions, prosecutors revealed the existence of text messages they said suggested a "romantic entanglement" with a friend who was present at locations Read and O'Keefe visited on the night of the incident. Other documents have also suggested trouble in the relationship between Read and O'Keefe.Read is also accused of having frequent contact with a controversial blogger known as "Turtleboy," Aiden Kearney, who now faces charges in related cases.Opening statements were delivered on April 29.The trial is expected to last 6-8 weeks.Prosecutors are trying to show that Read's actions were intentional. To do that, Norfolk Assistant District Attorney Adam Lally said evidence would show that the couple's stormy relationship had begun to "sour" in the month before O'Keefe died and that the two got into arguments.Read's lawyers have alleged there was a cover-up involving members of several law enforcement agencies. They say O'Keefe was beaten by someone else inside the home, bitten by a dog and then left outside.They argued investigators focused on Read because she was a "convenient outsider," and that prevented them from considering other suspects. So far, Read's defense team has focused heavily on connections between police and the Albert family. They are trying to argue that these relationships biased the investigation and blinded state and local law enforcement officials to the possibility that someone else killed O'Keefe. One branch of the family lived in O'Keefe's neighborhood, another owned the home outside of which O'Keefe was found dead and several family members were at the bars with Read and O'Keefe on the night in question. Brian Albert is a retired Boston police officer who said he knew who O'Keefe was and that their relationship was "cordial." He and his wife, Nicole Albert, said they saw O'Keefe and Read at a bar but did not speak to her. After the bars, the couple said family and friends gathered at their home at 34 Fairview Rd. after the bars to visit their son, Brian Jr., who was about to celebrate his birthday. The couple said O'Keefe and Read did not come to the house.The defense questioned the couple about their decision to re-house their dog, which Nicole Albert said was made after an incident in 2022.Nicole Albert's sister, Jennifer McCabe, woke the couple between 6 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. on Jan. 29. She seemed hysterical and said, "He's out in the snow. We found him out in the snow. We don't know if he's OK," Nicole Albert recalled.The couple talked to Lt. Michael Lank at their home. Brian Albert said he knew Lank, but not socially.Julie Albert, one of O'Keefe's neighbors, was questioned by the defense about 67 phone conversations she had in 2022 between February and September with the sister of the lead investigator on the case, Trooper Michael Proctor. One call was on the day Read was arrested and three were when she was arraigned.Julie Albert is married to Brian Albert's younger brother, Christopher. She also confirmed that she had Proctor's personal cellphone number and that the two had had a short phone conversation after she was interviewed by him on Feb. 10. She said she had his number from years ago.Julie Albert also confirmed she gave Lank's personal cellphone number to McCabe.Julie Nagel, who left the gathering at the 34 Fairview Rd. with Matthew and Jennifer McCabe, said she saw a "black blob" that was about 5 or 6 feet long on the lawn. On cross-examination, however, she was questioned about why this was the first time she discussed the size of the object. The trial's first few days also detailed the futile efforts of first responders to save O'Keefe. They found him face up when they arrived just before dawn on Jan. 29. He was pronounced dead at the hospital, and an autopsy later found he died of hypothermia and blunt force trauma.Several of the first responders said they heard Read make statements, including, "I hit him," after O'Keefe was found. Defense attorneys confronted several of those witnesses by asking why those alleged remarks were not included in official reports.Officers also testified about unusual procedures used during the investigation, including the decision to collect bloody snow in red plastic cups and clearing snow from the crime scene.The Associated Press contributed to this report.

DEDHAM, Mass. —

A key witness began to testify late Wednesday during an emotional day in the murder trial of Karen Read, the Massachusetts woman whose defense claims her Boston police officer boyfriend was beaten by someone else and bitten by a dog before he was left outside to die in a snowstorm.

Read, 44, of Mansfield, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and other charges. The prosecution says she hit her boyfriend, John O'Keefe, with her black SUV outside of a home at 34 Fairview Road in Canton during a snowstorm on Jan. 29, 2022, following a night of drinking. Her defense plans to argue that someone else is responsible for killing O'Keefe.

Colin Albert, one of the three people the defense has tried to implicate in O'Keefe's death, began his testimony during the final hour of court on Wednesday. He was in high school at the time but testified that he was drinking beer at a friend's house before going to 34 Fairview Rd. to celebrate his cousin's birthday.

Albert said he spent about 90 minutes there before texting Allie McCabe for a ride and leaving around 12:10 p.m. Albert said he never saw O'Keefe on the night in question and testified that they had no animosity or arguments.

Also during the afternoon session, Allie McCabe became emotional during her testimony about the harassment that witnesses have faced because of this high-profile case.

Testimony Wednesday began with an animal DNA expert who testified for the prosecution.

Teri Kun, a forensic scientist from the University of California, Davis, who specializes in animal DNA, received two swabs of DNA taken from a shirt that the Massachusetts State Police crime lab sent for testing.

"There was absolutely no canine DNA," Kun said, adding that there was pig DNA detected, which could have come from a live animal or a food source such as cooked pork or bacon.

In previous testimony, several witnesses testified about Chloe, the dog that lived at the home owned by the Alberts where O'Keefe was found dead. The defense has tried to portray the dog as "not good with strangers;" however, the defense has not explicitly said Chloe attacked O'Keefe.

Hearst Owned

Cotton swabs with evidence taken from a shirt that were sent to a forensic lab that specializes in animal DNA.

Live updates:

Related links:

What to know about the case:

Prosecutors are trying to show that Read's actions were intentional. To do that, Norfolk Assistant District Attorney Adam Lally said evidence would show that the couple's stormy relationship had begun to "sour" in the month before O'Keefe died and that the two got into arguments.

Read's lawyers have alleged there was a cover-up involving members of several law enforcement agencies. They say O'Keefe was beaten by someone else inside the home, bitten by a dog and then left outside.

They argued investigators focused on Read because she was a "convenient outsider," and that prevented them from considering other suspects.

So far, Read's defense team has focused heavily on connections between police and the Albert family. They are trying to argue that these relationships biased the investigation and blinded state and local law enforcement officials to the possibility that someone else killed O'Keefe. One branch of the family lived in O'Keefe's neighborhood, another owned the home outside of which O'Keefe was found dead and several family members were at the bars with Read and O'Keefe on the night in question.

Brian Albert is a retired Boston police officer who said he knew who O'Keefe was and that their relationship was "cordial." He and his wife, Nicole Albert, said they saw O'Keefe and Read at a bar but did not speak to her. After the bars, the couple said family and friends gathered at their home at 34 Fairview Rd. after the bars to visit their son, Brian Jr., who was about to celebrate his birthday. The couple said O'Keefe and Read did not come to the house.

Hearst Owned

Officer John O'Keefe

The defense questioned the couple about their decision to re-house their dog, which Nicole Albert said was made after an incident in 2022.

Nicole Albert's sister, Jennifer McCabe, woke the couple between 6 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. on Jan. 29. She seemed hysterical and said, "He's out in the snow. We found him out in the snow. We don't know if he's OK," Nicole Albert recalled.

The couple talked to Lt. Michael Lank at their home. Brian Albert said he knew Lank, but not socially.

Julie Albert, one of O'Keefe's neighbors, was questioned by the defense about 67 phone conversations she had in 2022 between February and September with the sister of the lead investigator on the case, Trooper Michael Proctor. One call was on the day Read was arrested and three were when she was arraigned.

David McGlynn

Karen Read with her defense team

Julie Albert is married to Brian Albert's younger brother, Christopher. She also confirmed that she had Proctor's personal cellphone number and that the two had had a short phone conversation after she was interviewed by him on Feb. 10. She said she had his number from years ago.

Julie Albert also confirmed she gave Lank's personal cellphone number to McCabe.

Julie Nagel, who left the gathering at the 34 Fairview Rd. with Matthew and Jennifer McCabe, said she saw a "black blob" that was about 5 or 6 feet long on the lawn. On cross-examination, however, she was questioned about why this was the first time she discussed the size of the object.

The trial's first few days also detailed the futile efforts of first responders to save O'Keefe. They found him face up when they arrived just before dawn on Jan. 29. He was pronounced dead at the hospital, and an autopsy later found he died of hypothermia and blunt force trauma.

Hearst Owned

Shattered glass introduced as evidence in Karen Read trial.

Several of the first responders said they heard Read make statements, including, "I hit him," after O'Keefe was found. Defense attorneys confronted several of those witnesses by asking why those alleged remarks were not included in official reports.

Officers also testified about unusual procedures used during the investigation, including the decision to collect bloody snow in red plastic cups and clearing snow from the crime scene.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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