Testimony reveals family connection to house where Boston police officer’s body was discovered in the snow

The trial in Massachusetts continued into its ninth day as the woman accused of striking her Boston police officer boyfriend with her SUV and leaving him for dead in a snowbank outside a home faced the courtroom’s scrutiny.

John O’Keefe passed away on January 29, 2022, in the Boston suburb of Canton.

The national spotlight is shining on the case due to the defense’s claims that state and local law enforcement officials framed Karen Read, the girlfriend, while allowing the true perpetrator to escape justice.

Let’s delve into the facts and legal arguments surrounding the issue at hand.

WHAT ARE THE CHARGES?

Karen Read, a 44-year-old resident of Mansfield, Massachusetts, is facing charges of second-degree murder in connection with the tragic death of John O’Keefe, a 46-year-old individual. John O’Keefe, a dedicated police officer with 16 years of service, was discovered unresponsive outside the residence of a retired Boston police officer.

After a night of drinking at multiple bars, prosecutors allege that Read left O’Keefe at a house party shortly after midnight. While attempting to make a three-point turn, it is claimed that she accidentally hit O’Keefe and then drove away. Hours later, she returned to discover him lying in a snowbank.

Prosecutors are aiming to establish that Read intentionally committed the act. Norfolk Assistant District Attorney Adam Lally stated that the evidence would indicate a deterioration in the couple’s tumultuous relationship in the month leading up to O’Keefe’s death, during which they engaged in arguments.

According to Read’s lawyers, they have claimed that there was a cover-up involving multiple law enforcement agencies. They assert that O’Keefe was physically assaulted inside the residence, attacked by a dog, and subsequently abandoned outside.

DID FAMILY CONNECTIONS UNDERMINE THE INVESTIGATION?

On Friday, the prosecution summoned the previous homeowners to provide testimony regarding the sequence of events that led to the discovery of O’Keefe.

Brian and Nicole Albert, a married couple who used to live in the Canton home until last year, shared their testimony stating that on the night of January 28, 2022, they met with their relatives at a local bar. According to their account, they observed O’Keefe entering the bar with Read and taking a seat close to Nicole Albert’s sister and her husband.

According to witnesses, it appeared that everyone was enjoying themselves at the event. Although they did not interact with Read directly, Nicole Albert noted that there were no indications of Read being intoxicated. Brian Albert, a former Boston police officer, stated that he was familiar with O’Keefe and that their association was amicable.

Brian and Nicole Albert revealed that their son was on the verge of celebrating his birthday. To commemorate the occasion, loved ones gathered at their house after the bar closed. Despite the snowy weather, O’Keefe and Read did not join them. As the night progressed, drinks were shared amongst the group, and according to the Alberts’ testimony, everyone had departed by 2 a.m. on January 29, leaving them to retire for the night.

Nicole Albert vividly remembers the morning of January 29th when her sister, Jennifer McCabe, burst into her bedroom between 6 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. McCabe was clearly distressed as she exclaimed, “He’s out in the snow. We found him out in the snow. We don’t know if he’s OK.”

Albert was taken aback and responded, “What are you talking about?” Initially, her mind jumped to the possibility that something had happened to a family member.

The Alberts expressed that they and their family were in a state of shock.

“It was an incredibly chaotic morning,” recalled Brian Albert.

Brian Albert and his partner had a conversation with Lt. Michael Lank at their residence. Brian mentioned that he was acquainted with Lank, although not on a personal level.

DID PHONE CALLS PLAY A ROLE?

During the defense’s questioning on Friday, Julie Albert, a family member, was asked about her 67 phone conversations in 2022. These conversations took place between February and September and were with Trooper Michael Proctor’s sister, who is the lead investigator on the case. One of these calls occurred on the day of Read’s arrest, while three others took place during her arraignment.

Julie Albert is married to Christopher, the younger brother of Brian Albert. She further confirmed that she possesses Proctor’s personal cellphone number and that they had a brief conversation over the phone after her interview with him on February 10th. She mentioned that she had obtained his number several years ago.

Julie Albert confirmed that she provided McCabe with Lank’s personal cellphone number.

During the week, the defense honed in on Lank’s connection with Christopher Albert, a former classmate from high school.

The defense team of Read has placed significant emphasis on the connections between the police and the Albert family. Their argument centers around the idea that these relationships influenced the investigation and prevented state and local law enforcement officials from considering the possibility that someone other than the Albert family may have been responsible for O’Keefe’s murder.

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MBS Staff
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