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Karen Read pre-trial hearing covers several new motions in murder case

Judge hears last-minute motions before Karen Read murder trial begins
Judge hears last-minute motions before Karen Read murder trial begins 01:10

DEDHAM - Karen Read, the woman accused of killing her boyfriend, Boston Police officer John O'Keefe, in 2022 by hitting him with her car, is set to face trial Tuesday. 

But that trial has the potential to be delayed again, according to legal analysts, because of dozens of filings this week. 

A final pre-trial hearing, which is standard procedure, was held Friday in Norfolk Superior Court.

Judge to rule on 30 different motions

This week alone, both the prosecution and defense teams have filed 30 different motions in limine - or motions to either permit or exclude evidence at trial. 

One of those motions is a motion to preclude the defendant from raising a third-party defense. In other words, prosecutors are asking Judge Beverly Cannone to prohibit Read's team from suggesting that a third party murdered John O'Keefe. 

"The defendant has yet to provide any evidence as to whom they suggest is the third-party culprit responsible," the motion from the Commonwealth reads. 

Legal analysts told WBZ-TV this motion is a longshot and largely untrue. The defense team has suggested on numerous occasions that O'Keefe died in the cold outside after a fight inside a house party at which Karen Read was not present. 

It would be "highly unlikely" for the judge to allow this motion, according to legal analyst Jennifer Roman. 

"It's not the defense's job to say who did it," she explained. "It's the defense's job to say there's other people that may have done it." 

Motion to prohibit mention of "Turtleboy"

Other motions include a motion to prohibit any mention of blogger Aidan "Turtleboy" Kearney during the trial, to prohibit any reference to the federal investigation into the case, and the defense's motion to exclude bad character evidence. 

At the pre-trial hearing Friday, the judge heard oral arguments on most or all of these motions and will need to rule on them before trial begins Tuesday. There are no business days on which the court is open between the pre-trial hearing and the trial start date. For that reason, legal analysts say there's a potential that the judge could delay the start of trial if she doesn't have time to rule on all of the motions.   

WATCH: What to know about Karen Read trial

Jury selection could take a long time

There are additional factors that will extend the length of this trial - including that jury selection could take a long time. 

The jury pool will be people from Norfolk County. 

"I mean you almost have to have lived under a rock to not have heard about this case so there's going to be a lot of questioning of the potential juror about what do they know? How did they learn about it?" Roman explained. 

"With the information that you have seen or heard at this point affect your ability to be impartial?" attorney Ben Urbelis added. "That's where the difficulty is going to come in." 

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