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Home Live Trials - Current ‘It’s very clear to us’: Karen Read's lawyers accuse paramedic of lying on stand in murder of her Boston police officer boyfriend

‘It’s very clear to us’: Karen Read's lawyers accuse paramedic of lying on stand in murder of her Boston police officer boyfriend

Lawyers for Karen Read, the woman accused of driving over her Boston cop boyfriend with her SUV and abandoning him to die in a blizzard, began the second week of her murder trial with a surprising claim: That a firefighter/paramedic who testified last week lied under oath. Read’s attorney David Yannetti, out of the view of […]

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Karen Read

Karen Read hears testimony on May 6, 2024. (Law&Crime Network)

Karen Read's attorneys, who represent the woman accused of running over her Boston police officer boyfriend with her SUV and leaving him to die in a blizzard, started the second week of her murder trial by claiming that a firefighter/paramedic who testified last week committed perjury.

Attorney David Yannetti, speaking privately on Monday morning, stated that following the testimony of Canton Fire Department Firefighter and Paramedic Katie McLaughlin on Thursday and Friday, the defense team received several photos of her and Caitlin Albert, the daughter of the homeowner where Boston police Officer John O’Keefe was found dead in the early morning hours of Jan. 29, 2022, on the front lawn.

The defense's case centers on the relationships between the Albert family and first responders, alleging that Read, 44, is being framed and is the victim of a massive cover-up. Prosecutors claim Read hit O’Keefe, 46, as she was dropping him off at the Albert home following a night of drinking. She’s charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter while operating under the influence of alcohol, and leaving the scene of personal injury and death. O’Keefe died of blunt-force trauma to the head and hypothermia.

Last week, McLaughlin testified that she and Albert went to high school together. She described Albert as an “acquaintance” and said they had mutual friends. They would see each other socially when there was a large group of people but didn’t hang out one-on-one, she testified. McLaughlin also testified that they didn’t see much of each other after graduating high school about a decade ago.

More coverage: ‘I hit him, I hit him, I hit him’: Paramedic testifies that Karen Read admitted to striking Boston police officer boyfriend John O’Keefe

The defense team attempted to present the jury with photos of the two from social media, yet the judge refused, stating the photos weren't admissible. However, over the weekend, the defense obtained more photos and learned additional information about the two, including the fact that they were teammates on the high school track team and attended a baby shower together about eight months before O’Keefe’s death, Yannetti said.

“We are certain that Katie McLaughlin committed perjury,” Yannetti informed Judge Beverly Cannone.

Yannetti requested the judge to reconsider her decision regarding the admissibility of photos of Albert and McLaughlin. Norfolk County Assistant Prosecutor Adam Lally said he believes Albert will testify later this week. Cannone stated she will make a ruling on whether the jurors can view the photos before Albert testifies. Read’s attorneys plan to use the third-party culprit defense, arguing that O’Keefe made it inside the Albert home where he became unconscious during a fight. The people inside the home, who were having a party after a night at the bar, then conspired to put O’Keefe outside to die and frame read, the defense contends.

On Monday, officers from Canton Police Department who arrived first at the scene testified. Lieutenant Paul Gallagher said the scene was unusual because of the windy and snowy conditions. They decided to use a leaf blower to clear some of the snow to look for evidence. They found blood spots and a broken cocktail glass from the bar visited by O’Keefe, Read, Brian Albert, and others the previous night.

Gallagher also talked about how the Canton police chief of detectives, who lived near Albert, gave officers some red solo cups to collect the bloody snow. He thought this would be more effective than using traditional cotton swabs due to the weather.

Gallagher said the scene was not standard in any way.

Defense attorney claims that the investigation into the death of cop boyfriend John O’Keefe was poorly done and biased, and that Karen Read was framed.

Defense attorney Alan Jackson questioned Gallagher about the unconventional collection method potentially leading to evidence contamination. Jackson showed photos of the blood in the cups in a paper bag near Read’s SUV. O’Keefe’s blood was found on the back of the SUV. Gallagher did not believe the evidence was contaminated. When asked about evidence tampering, Lally objected and Cannone sustained the objection.

Jackson also asked Gallagher why the police didn’t search the Albert residence. Gallagher said they had no probable cause to do so.

“Nobody suggested John O’Keefe had been anywhere else other than where he was found, including his girlfriend,” Gallagher said.

The day ended with a voir dire of Canton police Sgt. Adam Lank, a key figure in the supposed cover-up, outside the presence of the jury. Lank was the first police officer to interview those in the Albert home after O’Keefe’s body was found. The Canton Police Department later gave the investigation to the Massachusetts State Police because Brian Albert’s brother Kevin is a detective with CPD.

Prosecutors claim that Karen Read went straight to O’Keefe’s body after killing him.

The issue with the voir dire is whether the defense can ask Lank about a previous incident in which he allegedly assisted Tim Albert after a bar fight in 2002. Lank said he was off-duty when Tim Albert told him about the altercation.

“As I was advising him, a group of people approached, and he said ‘oh no here they come,'” Lank said.

Lank testified that one of the brothers involved in the fight with Tim Albert punched him.

The brothers filed a lawsuit against Lank, claiming he was the aggressor and used his authority as a police officer to help Tim Albert. It was settled out of court. The brothers were charged with assaulting Lank, but the case was later dismissed.

Jackson argued that the jury should hear about the incident to demonstrate Lank’s closeness to the Alberts. Lally argued that the incident was irrelevant because it was a long time ago and unrelated to the O’Keefe case. Lally also said the defense was overestimating Lank’s role in the investigation. Cannone said she believed the incident could be relevant to the case but wanted to review police reports before making a decision.

Testimony will keep going on Tuesday.

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