Karen Read murder trial continues, Brian Albert says O’Keefe never entered his home

DEDHAM – Testimony continued in the karen read murder trial on Friday, and the jurors in the Massachusetts case I heard from the owners of the Canton home where Boston Police Officer John O’Keefe was found dead outside.

“It’s in the snow”

Nicole Albert, Brian Albert’s wife, testified about the moment she learned that O’Keefe was found outside their Canton home at 34 Fairview Road on January 29, 2022.

Albert said that between 6 a.m. and 6:30 a.m., his sister Jennifer McCabe “barged” into his room.

“She says, ‘He’s in the snow, we found him in the snow, we don’t know if he’s okay.'”

Albert said he didn’t immediately realize his sister was talking about O’Keefe.

“She told us… ‘John, John, do you remember John from last night at the Waterfall?” Alberto remembered. “I was like, ‘What do you mean? How could he be outside?'”

During cross-examination, the defense disputed Albert’s version of that morning’s events, saying cell phone records show she answered two phone calls from her sister at 6:07 a.m. and 6:08 a.m.

“He says that, but I never answered a phone call from my sister Jennifer that morning,” Albert said.

They also asked Albert why she and her husband never went out when the police were called early that morning. “We didn’t go out because we didn’t know what was happening outside. We were fast asleep,” she said.

Brian Albert says Read and O’Keefe never entered his home

Brian Albert was called to the stand after his wife. Brian Albert, his nephew Colin Albert and his friend Brian Higgins are the three men the defense says may have killed John O’Keefe in a fight, an alternative theory to the state’s case that Read hit O’Keefe with his car.

Albert, a retired Boston police officer, was also at Waterfall the night O’Keefe and Read arrived. He said he had only met with O’Keefe twice before that night.

“Even though I didn’t know him well, I considered him a friend and our relationship was very, very good,” Brian Albert said.

After returning home, he said his nephew Colin was there with a group of people, but left within five minutes. She said O’Keefe and Read never entered her home that night. “John O’Keefe and Karen Read never came into my house,” Brian Albert said.

Trial against girlfriend murdered by an officer
Witness Brian Albert testifies during the trial of Karen Read in Norfolk County Superior Court, Friday, May 10, 2024, in Dedham, Massachusetts.

Charles Krupa/AP

Brian Albert said Jennifer McCabe burst into his room after 6 a.m. and said she was “very upset, almost hysterical.” She said the police were downstairs and he went down to talk to them. She said she called Higgins and told him she thought it was important for him to know what happened.

The Alberts eventually sold their house and when asked if O’Keefe’s death prompted the sale, Brian Albert said, “Of course not.”

Brian Albert will return to the stand on Monday.

‘Turtleboy’ cannot be in court for testimony of certain witnesses, judge rules

Read’s trial was briefly paused Friday while Judge Beverly Cannone heard arguments about whether Aidan Kearney, the blogger known as “Turtleboy”, could remain in court. Kearney, who runs “TB Daily News,” was sitting with reporters in the courtroom during his first-time testimony.

Kearney was arrested and charged with witness intimidation in the Read case in October. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Judge Cannone said she found Kearney’s presence will have a “chilling effect” on the testimony of certain witnesses. She said he will be excused from court during the testimony of Julie Nagel, Christopher Albert, Colin Albert, Michael Proctor, Jennifer McCabe, Matthew McCabe, Brian Albert and Nicole Albert.

Outside court, Kearney criticized the judge’s decision.

“They have used these false charges to smear my name and portray me as some kind of dangerous bully,” Kearney said. “I’ve never threatened anyone, I’ve never hurt anyone, none of those people are afraid of me, none of those people are intimidated by me.”

Julie Albert on the stand

Testimony ended Thursday afternoon with Julie Albert on the stand. She is the wife of Christopher Albert, whose brother Brian owns the house at 34 Fairview Road.

Julie Albert was with a group at the Cascade Bar and Grill in Canton with O’Keefe, Read and others, just hours before O’Keefe died. Albert said he went home earlier than the others that night, around 11 p.m., because he developed a migraine.

Albert said he learned of O’Keefe’s death the next morning when he went to the Fairview Road home to deliver a birthday present for his nephew.

“Everyone was visibly upset,” Albert said.

The defense during cross-examination focused on Albert’s relationship with Courtney, the sister of police officer Michael Proctor. Trooper Proctor is the lead investigator on the case.

According to Read’s attorneys, Julie Albert called Courtney Proctor dozens of times in the months after O’Keefe’s death, including the day Read was arrested.

“Were you using Courtney Proctor as an intermediary to communicate with Michael Proctor about this case?” defense attorney David Yannetti asked.

“No, I wasn’t,” Albert testified.

Julie Albert says she doesn’t remember details of phone calls with Trooper Proctor’s wife

When cross-examination resumed Friday, Albert said he did not remember what was discussed in his phone calls with Courtney Proctor, and also said he did not remember calling Officer Proctor’s personal cell phone after a police interview at his home.

In previous hearings, the defense has said Brian Albert, ATF Agent Brian Higgins and Christopher and Julie Albert’s son Colin are the suspects in O’Keefe’s death.

Julie Albert testified Friday that her son, then a teenager, was at a friend’s house before stopping by 34 Fairview to wish his cousin a happy birthday.

Christopher Albert testifies

The defense claims the Albert family is at the center of an alleged effort to frame Read. Canton Select Board member Christopher Albert was on the stand for nearly two hours Thursday.

Chris Albert testifies on May 9, 2024 at the Karen Read murder trial.

CBS Boston

Albert testified that everyone in the group had a good time the night of January 28, 2022, and recalled that Read entered the bar with a glass under his jacket. Police say they found a broken cocktail glass at the scene, where Read is accused of hitting and killing O’Keefe with her truck.

Christopher Albert says he was never inside Brian Albert’s house the night O’Keefe died. Read’s defense says O’Keefe was killed during a fight inside Brian Albert’s home and dragged outside.

Who is Karen Read?

Read, 45, faces charges of second-degree murder, manslaughter while operating under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene resulting in personal injury and death. The trial is being held at Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham.

She maintains that she is the victim of a cover-up involving multiple people, including law enforcement.