Karen Read case investigator Trooper Michael Proctor to testify at murder trial, defense says

DEDHAM – Highly publicized testimony Karen Read murder trial resumed Thursday with Massachusetts State Police Sgt. Yuri Boukhenik back to the bar. Bukhenik supervised Trooper Michael Proctor, who was the lead investigator in the death of Boston police officer John O’Keefe.

Testimony concluded shortly before noon at Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham, Massachusetts. After the trial ended, Read’s attorney, Alan Jackson, said he was told Trooper Proctor would testify for the prosecution.

O’Keefe was found dead outside Brian Albert’s home at 34 Fairview Road in Canton on Jan. 29, 2022. Prosecutors say Read hit him with her SUV and left him to die in a snowstorm.

Read’s defense claims there was an elaborate cover-up by multiple people, including law enforcement. They contend O’Keefe was killed during a fight inside Albert’s home and dragged outside.

Private Michael Proctor’s role in the Karen Read affair

How and when Trooper Proctor would testify to a key issue in the trial. The lead investigator is currently under internal investigation for his handling of the case. The prosecution and defense had listed him as a potential witness they could call to testify.

Read’s defense alleges that Proctor planted evidence at the scene and intentionally botched the investigation in order to cover up for friends who were witnesses in the case. Proctor’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment from WBZ.

How long will the Karen Read affair last?

Judge Beverly Cannone addressed the jury after the 21st day of testimony. Dozens of witnesses have already been questioned in this case.

“I know you want to know when this case is going to end,” she said. “After speaking with the attorneys, I can safely say that you will receive this matter for deliberation during the last week of June.”

Was John O’Keefe attacked by a dog?

On Thursday, the prosecution filed a motion to exclude the testimony of Dr. Marie Russell, a defense witness who planned to testify that O’Keefe’s injuries were consistent with those from an animal attack.

In the motion, the Commonwealth claims it received late notice of the expected testimony and no specific documents setting out its views.

Prosecutors also say Read’s lawyers told the judge during a February 2024 hearing that they did not intend to pursue allegations that O’Keefe was attacked by a dog. The Commonwealth said it was surprised and “unfairly aggrieved” when attorney David Yannetti referenced a dog attack in his opening statements.

In the motion, prosecutors also requested to receive reports and opinions from at least three other defense expert witnesses. They claim the defense failed to cooperate with discovery in a timely manner.

Attorneys for both sides are expected to argue the motion Monday at 8:30 a.m. before the jury is in attendance.

During preliminary hearings, defense attorneys said the scratches on O’Keefe’s arm were caused by Brian Albert’s dog Chloe during a fight at 34 Fairview Road. The pursuit previously called an expert who said samples taken from O’Keefe after his death revealed no canine DNA.

Albert verified that the German Shepherd mix was transferred after an unrelated attack in May 2022.

Sgt. Yuri Boukhenik back on the witness stand

Bukhenik was back on the stand Thursday morning and was questioned on Ring video from O’Keefe’s home. Bukhenik said that in the video footage from that night, Read was returning home after dropping O’Keefe off at 34 Fairview, as well as Read showing Jennifer McCabe and Kerry Roberts his damaged tail light the next morning. The prosecution insinuated that the videos were deleted by Read.

Bukhenik also spoke about a secondary search at 34 Fairview in February. 3 which was made once the snow started to melt. He said more pieces of taillights were found, along with a straw in the road and O’Keefe’s hat. Most of O’Keefe’s family cried as Boukhenik showed the hat to the jury.

Further evidence was collected at the scene in February. February 8. 11 and February 18 snow was melting, Boukhenik said.

The jury also heard audio of Read following his arrest for the second time in June 2022 following a grand jury indictment for murder.

“Okay, you know he got beat by Brian and Colin Albert? I mean, we’re all in on the same joke, right?” Read tells Boukhenik. “My taillight was cracked and John…was pulverized.”

Cross-examination of Sgt. Boukhenik

Defense attorney Jackson began the cross-examination by asking Bukhenik if there was any evidence showing that Read had logged into O’Keefe’s Ring camera account. Boukhenik admitted no.

Boukhenik said he contacted the medical examiner’s office in January. On January 29, 2022, investigators considered the injuries suspicious due to a domestic incident and that the victim may have been struck in the face with a cocktail glass.

Jackson also asked Bukhenik if he found it “suspicious” that Canton Police Chief Ken Berkowitz discovered evidence while driving at 34 Fairview, although the police department recused itself from interviews in as part of the investigation into links with the Albert family.

“I didn’t find it suspicious at all,” Boukhenik said. “He’s the police chief of the town where he works and he’s driving down the street. It’s not suspicious.”

Massachusetts State Police Trooper Yuriy Bukhenik, holding an evidence bag, testifies during the trial of Karen Read, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham Mass.

David McGlynn/New York Post via AP, Pool

Video evidence focuses on broken taillight

Read’s defense team showed the jury video starting at 5 a.m. on Jan. 1. 29, which appears to show Read Bump O’Keefe’s car in the driveway. They say it damaged the tail light.

“That’s enough to break it,” Read said outside court.

But investigators said the taillight had been shattered four hours earlier in the impact that killed O’Keefe.

Another important point in Bukhenik’s testimony was video of Read’s SUV inside the Canton Police exit port, shown Wednesday by prosecutors.

Defense attorneys pointed out that some words in the video were reversed and the entire video was actually mirrored, so it was the driver’s side and not the side of the broken tail light that was shown.

Boukhenik said he did not get the video and first saw it “a few weeks ago.”

“I don’t know why it is reversed, but that’s how it was presented, collected and presented by the cantonal police,” Boukhenik said.

Outside court, WBZ-TV’s Kristina Rex asked Alan Jackson if he thought it was intentional that the prosecution didn’t mention that the video was mirrored when it aired the day before.

“Here’s the funny thing,” Jackson said. “So the video is inverted…but the timestamp at the bottom is not inverted. Which means someone must have put that on purpose on the inverted, manipulated, edited video.”

Boukhenik tests Karen Read’s alcohol consumption

On Wednesday, prosecutor Adam Lally began reviewing evidence collected by Bukhenik and state police in the case, including the clothing O’Keefe was wearing the night he died.

Lally also released several pieces of video evidence. The prosecution attempted to show that the taillight of Read’s SUV was damaged at 5:07 a.m. on the day of O’Keefe’s death, before police began investigating.

Video was also released showing Read consuming several alcoholic beverages hours before prosecutors say she hit and killed O’Keefe. Bukhenik said she had nine drinks total at CF McCarthy’s and Waterfall Bar and Grille in Canton.

Who is Karen Read?

Read, 45, of Mansfield, Massachusetts, is accused of beating and killing O’Keefe with his SUV during a snowstorm. Read and O’Keefe were dating at the time. Previous witnesses in the case have confirmed what they say is a deterioration in the relationship.

Read pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, manslaughter while operating under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of bodily injury and death.

Defendant Karen Read, right, listens as one of her attorneys, Alan Jackson, questions state police crime lab scientist Christina Hanley about the glass fragments recovered at 34 Fairview Rd. Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham, Mass. on Wednesday June 5, 2024.

Greg Derr/The Patriot Ledger via AP, Pool

What’s on the schedule for Karen Read’s murder trial this week?

After a half-day of testimony Thursday, there will be no hearing Friday. But next week, Judge Cannone appears ready to move the trial forward.

Full days of testimony are scheduled for Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Nothing is planned for Tuesday.

Cannone has started shortening the jury’s lunch breaks by about 30 minutes and continues proceedings for an additional half hour until 4:30 p.m. on full days of testimony.

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