Lead investigator reads ‘regrettable’ messages in court

Karen Read murder trial: Live updates as juror excused; Proctor returns to stand

Read is accused of killing her boyfriend, John O’Keefe, with an SUV during a winter storm

Massachusetts State Police Trooper Michael Proctor returned to the stand Wednesday in the murder trial of Karen Read, who is accused of hitting John O’Keefe, her boyfriend, with an SUV and leaving him to die in a snowstorm. Before testimony resumed Wednesday, Judge Beverly Cannone told the jury that one juror was excused, saying the reason was “personal.” The remaining jury is composed of 10 women and six men, 12 of whom will deliberate the case.Read, 44, of Mansfield, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and other charges. The prosecution says she hit 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. Proctor, a lead investigator in the case, then faced more tough questions about the “very regrettable” text messages about Read that he sent to friends and other colleagues. Defense Attorney Alan Jackson asked Proctor about a text message chain between him and eight high school friends on the night O’Keefe died. He told the group, “She waffled him. I looked at him in the hospital.”In another text, Proctor wrote there were “zero chances she escapes.” Proctor said he “absolutely” showed integrity in regard to the investigation but not in regards to the text messages he sent about Read.Jackson then questioned Proctor about his previous testimony regarding his relationships with other witnesses in the case. Proctor said he had Julie Albert’s phone number in his contact list, but he wouldn’t classify her as a “close friend.” Ten days before O’Keefe’s death, Proctor texted his sister to see if Albert was available to babysit for his young child. When questioned about the report Proctor filed about the investigation, Proctor admitted that he left Colin Albert’s name off the list of people interviewed.”Yes, because he arrived later in the evening. The other females were there from the start,” Proctor said.Live updates: 11:35 a.m. Jackson shows text message Proctor exchanged with a Canton police department officer about surveillance video cameras in the area. Canton PD had recused itself from the case. 1o:55 a.m. Jackson asks about Proctor’s handwritten notes listing Colin Albert as present at the home the night of O’Keefe’s death. Jackson points out that Proctor did not include Colin’s name in later reports. Proctor testifies that’s because Colin arrived later than the others. 10:35 a.m. Proctor got a text from his sister Courtney asking about his interview with her friend Julie Albert. He replied, “Just a quick convo.” Jackson asks in Proctor was “reporting back” about the progress of the investigation. 10: 30 a.m. Jackson says 10 days before O’Keefe’s death, Proctor texted his sister to see if Julie Albert was available to babysit for his young child. Proctor acknowledges he never documented that connection in his reports about the case. 10:20 a.m. Jackson asks about Proctor’s sister, Courtney, who is close friends with Chris and Julie Albert. Says the Albert’s have been to his parents’ home. Says he had Julie’s phone number in his contact but says he wouldn’t classify her as “a close friend.” 10:15 a.m. Jackson is asking about Proctor’s previous testimony regarding his relationships with other witnesses. Proctor says he didn’t know the McCabes, but did know Julie, Chris and Colin Albert. Acknowledges he didn’t disclose that during previous testimony. 10 a.m. Proctor says he “absolutely” showed integrity in regards to the investigation but not in regards to the text messages he sent about Read. Jackson asks if Proctor has ever apologized to Read? Prosecution objects. Judge sustains. 9:55 a.m. A friend wrote, “Is that chick a smoke?” Proctor replied, “Eh, nut bag, as chief (a friend) would say. She’s got a balloon knot.” Proctor acknowledges he was referring to Read’s medical condition. Jackson asks if he knew Read had 10 surgeries in 18 months. 9:50 a.m. In one message, a friend of Proctor wrote that the case would be “cut and dry since it involves cops.” Proctor responded, “Yeah, but there will be some serious charges brought on the girl (Read).” 9:44 a.m. In one of the messages, Proctor wrote, “That’s another animal we won’t be able to prove.” Proctor says he was referring to the intentionality of the crime, whether Read purposefully intended to hit O’Keefe. 9:42 a.m. Proctor acknowledges that O’Keefe had no bruises below the neck. Jackson asks if Proctor has ever seen a vehicle collision that resulted in similar injuries. “I can’t recall,” Proctor answers. 9:40 a.m. Proctor agrees with Jackson that based on the evidence recovered the first day, he believed that the case was “cut and dry.” But he also says he believed that the death was caused by a physical altercation. 9:38 a.m. In another message a friend wrote, “He must have been a puddle (drunk) to accomplish that.” Proctor replied: “She waffled him. I looked at him in the hospital.” 9:35 a.m. Proctor says his answer about being the homeowner being a cop was not the reason for him not receiving s***. 9:30 a.m. Jackson says one of the friends messaged, “I’m sure the owners of the house will receive some s***.” Proctor replied, “No” and then “Homeowner’s a Boston cop, too.”9:20 a.m. Jackson resumes questioning about another set of group chats involving Proctor and eight former high school classmates. The chat took place on the evening after O’Keefe died. In the messages, Proctor identified O’Keefe as the victim. 9:15 a.m. The judge tells the jury that one of the jurors has been excused. Says the reason is personal to that juror. 8:49 a.m. Good morning. Day 23 of testimony. We expect to hear more from Tpr Michael Proctor, the lead investigator on the case. On Monday, he admitted to sending disparaging messages about Read while investigating the case but said that did not affect his view of the facts. 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.Case evidence slideshow: Prosecutors are trying to show that Read’s alleged actions outside 34 Fairview Road were intentional. 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.The defense, which has been allowed to present what is called third-party culprit evidence, argues that investigators focused on Read because she was a “convenient outsider” who saved them from having to consider other suspects. Those they have implicated include Brian Albert, who owned the home in Canton where O’Keefe died, and Brian Higgins, an ATF agent who was there that night.Higgins testified about a “romantic” encounter and a series of text messages he exchanged with Read. In those flirty messages, Read told him that O’Keefe had “hooked up” with another woman during a vacation. The defense is trying to convince the jury that O’Keefe was beaten and suggested that Colin Albert, nephew of the family that owned the home on Fairview Road, had been in a fight. Albert said a hand injury came when he fell in a driveway and that he never saw O’Keefe during the celebration of his cousin’s birthday on the night in question.He also confirmed on cross-examination that he has known the lead state police investigator in this case, Trooper Proctor, since he was a child. A former Massachusetts police toxicologist, Nicholas Roberts, testified that Read’s blood alcohol content at 9 a.m. was between .078% and .083%, right around the legal limit for intoxication in Massachusetts. Based on a police report that suggested her last drink was at 12:45 a.m., her peak blood alcohol level would have been between .135% and .292%, he said.O’Keefe had been raising his niece and nephew, and they told jurors that they heard frequent arguments between him and Read. Both of the teenagers described an incident in which O’Keefe asked Read to leave the house and she refused.The trial’s first few days 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.

Massachusetts State Police Trooper Michael Proctor returned to the stand Wednesday in the murder trial of Karen Read, who is accused of hitting John O’Keefe, her boyfriend, with an SUV and leaving him to die in a snowstorm.

Before testimony resumed Wednesday, Judge Beverly Cannone told the jury that one juror was excused, saying the reason was “personal.” The remaining jury is composed of 10 women and six men, 12 of whom will deliberate the case.

Read, 44, of Mansfield, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and other charges. The prosecution says she hit 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.

Proctor, a lead investigator in the case, then faced more tough questions about the “very regrettable” text messages about Read that he sent to friends and other colleagues.

Defense Attorney Alan Jackson asked Proctor about a text message chain between him and eight high school friends on the night O’Keefe died. He told the group, “She waffled him. I looked at him in the hospital.”

In another text, Proctor wrote there were “zero chances she escapes.”

Proctor said he “absolutely” showed integrity in regard to the investigation but not in regards to the text messages he sent about Read.

Jackson then questioned Proctor about his previous testimony regarding his relationships with other witnesses in the case.

Proctor said he had Julie Albert’s phone number in his contact list, but he wouldn’t classify her as a “close friend.” Ten days before O’Keefe’s death, Proctor texted his sister to see if Albert was available to babysit for his young child.

When questioned about the report Proctor filed about the investigation, Proctor admitted that he left Colin Albert’s name off the list of people interviewed.

“Yes, because he arrived later in the evening. The other females were there from the start,” Proctor said.


Live updates:

  • 11:35 a.m. Jackson shows text message Proctor exchanged with a Canton police department officer about surveillance video cameras in the area. Canton PD had recused itself from the case.
  • 1o:55 a.m. Jackson asks about Proctor’s handwritten notes listing Colin Albert as present at the home the night of O’Keefe’s death. Jackson points out that Proctor did not include Colin’s name in later reports. Proctor testifies that’s because Colin arrived later than the others.
  • 10:35 a.m. Proctor got a text from his sister Courtney asking about his interview with her friend Julie Albert. He replied, “Just a quick convo.” Jackson asks in Proctor was “reporting back” about the progress of the investigation.
  • 10: 30 a.m. Jackson says 10 days before O’Keefe’s death, Proctor texted his sister to see if Julie Albert was available to babysit for his young child. Proctor acknowledges he never documented that connection in his reports about the case.
  • 10:20 a.m. Jackson asks about Proctor’s sister, Courtney, who is close friends with Chris and Julie Albert. Says the Albert’s have been to his parents’ home. Says he had Julie’s phone number in his contact but says he wouldn’t classify her as “a close friend.”
  • 10:15 a.m. Jackson is asking about Proctor’s previous testimony regarding his relationships with other witnesses. Proctor says he didn’t know the McCabes, but did know Julie, Chris and Colin Albert. Acknowledges he didn’t disclose that during previous testimony.
  • 10 a.m. Proctor says he “absolutely” showed integrity in regards to the investigation but not in regards to the text messages he sent about Read. Jackson asks if Proctor has ever apologized to Read? Prosecution objects. Judge sustains.
  • 9:55 a.m. A friend wrote, “Is that chick a smoke?” Proctor replied, “Eh, nut bag, as chief (a friend) would say. She’s got a balloon knot.” Proctor acknowledges he was referring to Read’s medical condition. Jackson asks if he knew Read had 10 surgeries in 18 months.
  • 9:50 a.m. In one message, a friend of Proctor wrote that the case would be “cut and dry since it involves cops.” Proctor responded, “Yeah, but there will be some serious charges brought on the girl (Read).”
  • 9:44 a.m. In one of the messages, Proctor wrote, “That’s another animal we won’t be able to prove.” Proctor says he was referring to the intentionality of the crime, whether Read purposefully intended to hit O’Keefe.
  • 9:42 a.m. Proctor acknowledges that O’Keefe had no bruises below the neck. Jackson asks if Proctor has ever seen a vehicle collision that resulted in similar injuries. “I can’t recall,” Proctor answers.
  • 9:40 a.m. Proctor agrees with Jackson that based on the evidence recovered the first day, he believed that the case was “cut and dry.” But he also says he believed that the death was caused by a physical altercation.
  • 9:38 a.m. In another message a friend wrote, “He must have been a puddle (drunk) to accomplish that.” Proctor replied: “She waffled him. I looked at him in the hospital.”
  • 9:35 a.m. Proctor says his answer about being the homeowner being a cop was not the reason for him not receiving s***.
  • 9:30 a.m. Jackson says one of the friends messaged, “I’m sure the owners of the house will receive some s***.” Proctor replied, “No” and then “Homeowner’s a Boston cop, too.”
  • 9:20 a.m. Jackson resumes questioning about another set of group chats involving Proctor and eight former high school classmates. The chat took place on the evening after O’Keefe died. In the messages, Proctor identified O’Keefe as the victim.
  • 9:15 a.m. The judge tells the jury that one of the jurors has been excused. Says the reason is personal to that juror.
  • 8:49 a.m. Good morning. Day 23 of testimony. We expect to hear more from Tpr Michael Proctor, the lead investigator on the case. On Monday, he admitted to sending disparaging messages about Read while investigating the case but said that did not affect his view of the facts.
  • Follow posts from reporter David Bienick

Related links:

What 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.

Case evidence slideshow:


Prosecutors are trying to show that Read’s alleged actions outside 34 Fairview Road were intentional. 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.

The defense, which has been allowed to present what is called third-party culprit evidence, argues that investigators focused on Read because she was a “convenient outsider” who saved them from having to consider other suspects. Those they have implicated include Brian Albert, who owned the home in Canton where O’Keefe died, and Brian Higgins, an ATF agent who was there that night.

Higgins testified about a “romantic” encounter and a series of text messages he exchanged with Read. In those flirty messages, Read told him that O’Keefe had “hooked up” with another woman during a vacation.

Witness Brian Higgins answers a question from prosecutor Adam Lally regarding text messages between Higgins and defendant Karen Read, during Read&apos&#x3B;s trial in Norfolk Superior Court, Friday, May 24, 2024, in Dedham, Mass. Read, 44, is accused of running into her Boston police officer boyfriend with her SUV in the middle of a nor&apos&#x3B;easter and leaving him for dead after a night of heavy drinking. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, Pool)

AP Photo/Charles Krupa, Pool

Witness Brian Higgins answers a question from prosecutor Adam Lally.
karen read speaks to attorney alan jackson

Hearst Owned

Officer John O’Keefe

The defense is trying to convince the jury that O’Keefe was beaten and suggested that Colin Albert, nephew of the family that owned the home on Fairview Road, had been in a fight. Albert said a hand injury came when he fell in a driveway and that he never saw O’Keefe during the celebration of his cousin’s birthday on the night in question.

He also confirmed on cross-examination that he has known the lead state police investigator in this case, Trooper Proctor, since he was a child.

Witness Colin Albert takes the stand during Karen Read's murder trail at Dedham Superior Court on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Dedham, Mass. Read is facing charges including second degree murder in the 2022 death of her boyfriend Boston Officer John O’Keefe. (Greg Derr/The Patriot Ledger via AP, Pool)

Greg Derr

Witness Colin Albert takes the stand.

A former Massachusetts police toxicologist, Nicholas Roberts, testified that Read’s blood alcohol content at 9 a.m. was between .078% and .083%, right around the legal limit for intoxication in Massachusetts. Based on a police report that suggested her last drink was at 12:45 a.m., her peak blood alcohol level would have been between .135% and .292%, he said.

O’Keefe had been raising his niece and nephew, and they told jurors that they heard frequent arguments between him and Read. Both of the teenagers described an incident in which O’Keefe asked Read to leave the house and she refused.

The trial’s first few days 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.

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