Attorneys for Karen Read, the Massachusetts woman accused of killing Boston Police Officer John O’Keefe, told Judge Beverly Cannon there is not enough evidence to try her for murder during a pretrial motions hearing on Sept. 15, 2023.
According to Norfolk County District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey, Read allegedly killed O’Keefe on Jan. 29, 2022, by hitting him with her vehicle after dropping him off at a coworker’s house–the Albert residence.
Read was initially indicted on June 9, 2022, but has maintained her innocence. Both she and her defense team argue that O’Keefe was murdered and that she is being framed. You can read more about the accusations here.
During the hearing, Read’s attorney David Yannetti said that the following evidence was either missing or not turned over by the prosecution during the discovery phase.
- 56 items of physical evidence
- Karen Read’s Lexus SUV telematics and infotainment system data
- Handwritten notes from law enforcement
- All notes, mapping, and documentation from evidence collection at Albert residence
- Raw data associated with law enforcement’s search on January 29
During the Sept. 15 hearing, the defense team argued that the prosecution has failed to produce evidence that is necessary for the trial, including data from Read’s SUV and investigators’ notes.
Judge Cannon also heard arguments regarding exhaustive testing on a single hair discovered on Read’s SUV.
According to the prosecution, the testing necessary to prove whether the hair has human DNA would destroy the single piece of evidence. This is something that the defense argued against.
While the prosecution claims DNA testing proved it to be human hair, the defense says that testing actually came back inconclusive for human DNA and could prove Read’s innocence.
“At some point that’s not a mistake, that’s a deception, a knowing fabrication, a lie,” Defense Attorney Alan Jackson stated.
The defense stated that by testing the piece of hair for mitochondrial DNA would destroy it and therefore they would not be able to do their own independent testing after. Instead, Read’s attorneys want the hair to be tested by an independent expert after the state’s expert reportedly failed a proficiency examination.
During the hearing, Read’s attorney David Yanetti stood in front of the courtroom and named Boston Police Sergeant Brian Albert and his nephew Collin Albert as potential suspects in O’Keefe’s death.
Yanetti also presented Judge Cannon with an affidavit regarding Read’s financial situation in an attempt to lower the bail, which Cannon said did not provide her enough information to lower bail.
Applause and laughter often filled the courtroom, with many in the crowd standing and cheering when Read arrived for the hearing. There were also moments of laughter when Prosecutor Adam Lally spoke–conduct that is nearly unheard of in courtroom etiquette.
During Yanetti’s time at the podium, he also directed fellow defense attorney Elizabeth Little to hold up a poster board allegedly showing lead investigator Michael Proctor standing over a pile of bloodied clothes allegedly belonging to O’Keefe.
Judge Cannon directed Little to put the boards down and told Yanetti that they could not present anything in the courtroom that was not previously presented to her person.
Yannetti added that a Ford Edge, which was parked near the Albert residence, was moved in the early hours of January 23. He stated that the person who moved the vehicle would have seen O’Keefe in the Albert lawn if the prosecution’s allegations are true.
The defense also alleges in a motion to compel evidence that O’Keefe’s injuries are not consistent with being struck by a vehicle but instead, “ suggest that he was beaten severely and left for dead…in addition to suffering numerous defensive wounds on his hands consistent with a brutal fight, O’Keefe also suffered a cluster of deep scratches and puncture wounds to his right upper arm and forearm. […] These injuries to O’Keefe’s right arm are consistent with bite marks and/or claw marks from an animal, more specifically a dog.”
Yannetti also alleged that “Brian Albert lied” about the family dog Chloe, a K9 German Shepherd, and that records showed she had a history of attacking humans.
According to Read’s attorneys the Albert family, “went to great lengths to dispose of critical evidence” to ensure their family dog of seven years, “simply disappeared.”
The defense also claimed that the lead investigator, Michael Proctor, allegedly conducted five undocumented evidence searches. These searches turned up pieces of tail light that the prosecution claims came from Read’s SUV and could be used to influence a jury that the tail light broke when O’Keefe was allegedly hit.
Yannetti stated there is little record of these searches other than pictures of tail light pieces in evidence bags dated on separate occasions.
Judge Cannon ordered the prosecution to hand over the requested evidence by November 3 and stated that all non evidentiary motions are due November 16.
Read’s next court date is December 8 at 9:00 AM EST. The murder trial is scheduled to begin March 12, 2024.
Sam is an award winning-journalist originally from Raleigh, North Carolina and currently living in Brooklyn, New York.
She graduated from Syracuse University in 2020 where she studied magazine journalism, photography, and sociology.
She joined Luna Shark Media in 2023 where she assists with research, producing, recording and editing for True Sunlight and Cup of Justice podcasts.
Through her detailed, ethical reporting and multimedia experience, Sam creates enterprise stories and works to unravel the truth around her.
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