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Karen Read's texts with John O'Keefe shown at murder trial: "Things haven't been great between us"

Karen Read's texts with John O'Keefe in the hours surrounding his death shown at murder trial
Karen Read's texts with John O'Keefe in the hours surrounding his death shown at murder trial 02:38

DEDHAM – Jurors in the high-profile Karen Read murder trial were shown texts between the defendant and her boyfriend, Boston police officer John O'Keefe Monday as the prosecution is expected to rest its case in the coming days.

Read's attorneys told WBZ-TV's Kristina Rex they've gotten information that prosecutors will wrap up their case this week and the defense could start to make its arguments as early as Friday. The defense said earlier this month anticipates about four days of witnesses when it gets the case, and Judge Beverly Cannone told the jury previously that she "can safely say that you will get this case for your deliberation sometime in the last week in June."

Read is accused of hitting O'Keefe, with her SUV on January 29, 2022, and leaving him to die in the snow. 

Her defense argues that Read is the victim of a coverup and is being framed by several people, including law enforcement. Read's attorneys say O'Keefe was actually killed during a fight inside retired Boston police officer Brian Albert's home at 34 Fairview Road in Canton, where his body was found.

State trooper reads texts between Karen Read and John O'Keefe

The last prosecution witness of the day was Massachusetts State Police Trooper Nicholas Guarino, who investigated multiple phones and computers connected to the case. Guarino read aloud messages between Read and O'Keefe, hours before he died.

"You have really hurt me this time," Read texted O'Keefe at 9:49 a.m. on Jan. 28. 

Later in the afternoon, she texts, "Tell me if you are interested in someone else. Can't think of any other reason you've been like this."

O'Keefe replies "nope."

"Things haven't been great between us for awhile. Ever consider that?" he writes.

Read goes on to ask O'Keefe, "Can you pls admit your head is out of the game w us?"

"Sick of always arguing and fighting. It's been weekly for several months now," O'Keefe responded.

Read's communications in the hours surrounding O'Keefe's death were the last thing the jury heard on Monday. At 12:55 a.m., Read texts "I'm going home." At 1:04 a.m., she texted "Im back in Mansfield. The kids are home alone." 

Outside the courtroom on Monday, WBZ-TV's Kristina Rex asked defense attorney Alan Jackson whether Read went back to her house or O'Keefe's house.

"She went back to John's house," Jackson said.

Based on prior testimony, Read had said she was at O'Keefe's house in Canton at that time.

"How long to die in cold" Google search

The prosecution called Ian Whiffin to the stand earlier in the day. He is the senior digital intelligence expert and decoding product manager at Cellebrite.

Whiffin testified about the timestamp on Jennifer McCabe's Google search about how long it would take for a person to die in the cold.

Both sides agree that McCabe made the search. The prosecution says it was after O'Keefe's body was found in the snow, while the defense argues it was made before the body was found.

McCabe testified that she made the search at Read's request after they found O'Keefe in the snow at 34 Fairview Road in Canton. 

A previous prosecution expert testified that McCabe was searching something unrelated at 2:27 a.m., and left the tab open. As a result, when McCabe opened the tab back up to make the search at 6:23 a.m., the timestamp showed as when the tab was first opened.

Whiffin testified similarly, saying that the searches actually took place at 6:23 a.m. and then shortly after at 6:24 a.m.

One of the searches shows up in the Cellebrite records as "deleted." Whiffin said he did not believe the search was deleted by the user in this case.

Whiffin said at 2:27 a.m., McCabe's phone tabs were only on local sports and basketball pages. Any iteration of "how long to die in cold" didn't appear until 6:23 a.m., he testified. 

Whiffin then gave the jury a live demonstration on how timestamps can be flawed on Safari Google searches on phones. On cross-examination, lawyer David Yannetti pointed out that Whiffin didn't perform his demonstration with the same phone operating version that McCabe had. Whiffin said he used the closest version he could. 

Yannetti also asked if it was possible for someone in possession of the phone or data to alter it in a way that would go undetected. Whiffin said yes, but said it would take large amounts of knowledge. 

How prosecution says John O'Keefe was killed

Massachusetts State Police Trooper Joseph Paul was back on the stand Monday after first taking the stand on Friday.

Paul said his investigation showed that Read's SUV made a three-point turn, then drove in reverse at 24.2 miles per hour for about 60 feet and struck O'Keefe. The data from Read's SUV is "consistent with a pedestrian strike," Paul said.

After just over 10 minutes of direct questioning, defense attorney Alan Jackson began cross-examination.

Jackson began by saying to Paul, "I want to be clear. That is your opinion ... correct?"

Defense questions crash reconstruction

Jackson attempted to call into question Paul's crash reconstruction efforts, at one point saying "the truth is you don't know what any of these physics calculations mean."

Paul testified that the SUV hit O'Keefe's arm, and when the taillight shattered it caused scratches. Defense attorneys have claimed previously that the scratches on O'Keefe's arm were actually caused by Brian Albert's dog during a fight inside the home.

Jackson asked Paul how he accounts for the fact that O'Keefe did not suffer any broken bones. Paul said he does not know. 

At the end of cross-examination, Jackson tried to show that Paul reached his conclusions at the urging of Massachusetts State Police Trooper Michael Proctor, the lead investigator in the case whose actions of come into question during the trial.

"The truth is, you know having investigated other pedestrian accidents in the past that John O'Keefe's injuries do not look anything like an automobile pedestrian accident, do they?" Jackson asked. Paul answered that the injuries do look like they were caused by a crash.

"Isn't it true Trooper Paul you came to these opinions and conclusions because Trooper Proctor told you to come to these opinions and conclusions in furtherance of his investigation?" Jackson asked. Paul said "That is not true."

"That's why you have these opinions and conclusions that don't make sense, correct?" Jackson asked. After Paul said, "That is not true," Jackson finished his cross-examination by saying "And you're just trying to fit a square peg into a round hole."

Paul concluded his testimony just before noon.

Judge warns defense attorney Alan Jackson

Earlier, Jackson questioned a diagram Paul made showing the debris field and possible area of impact.

The defense attorney asked Paul about a broken cocktail glass and O'Keefe's cellphone found on scene. Jackson asked how those items could have traveled and ended up next to O'Keefe's body.

"That's the evidence at the scene. I didn't put the evidence there," Paul said, prompting Jackson to reply "Well you didn't."

"Jurors, I've told you before lawyers cannot make comments. So disregard it. Mr. Jackson don't do it again," Judge Cannone said.

"I understand," Jackson responded.

"You understand, but don't do it. Your answer is always 'I understand.' Don't do it," Cannone said.

What happened last week in the Karen Read case?

Trooper Michael Proctor completed his testimony, which included damaging text messages he sent. The messages included derogatory comments about Read. Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey was asked about the testimony, saying she was "disgusted" by the texts. 

Friday's testimony focused on Read's SUV driving in reverse around the time prosecutors say O'Keefe was killed. An expert also testified about the timing of Jennifer McCabe's Google search about how long it would take someone to die in the cold.

Karen Read trial schedule

There are full days of court proceedings scheduled on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and a half day on Friday. No court will be held on Wednesday due to the Juneteenth holiday.

There will be no jurors in the courtroom for Tuesday's proceedings. Attorneys will question potential defense witnesses without the jury present so Cannone can determine if they will be allowed to testify. Those witnesses include an expert in animal attacks and two crash experts.

Who is Karen Read?

Karen Read, 44, is from Mansfield, Massachusetts and was dating O'Keefe at the time of his death. Witnesses have said they had a strained relationship.

After dropping him off at the Canton house party in the early morning of January 29, 2022, Read drove to O'Keefe's house. When O'Keefe did not come home, and she couldn't get in touch with him, Read and two other women went out to look for him. Around 6 a.m., O'Keefe was found dead, covered in snow.

First responders at the scene later testified they heard Read say "I hit him." 

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