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Karen Read's angry voicemails to John O'Keefe played at murder trial

Jury hears voicemails from Karen Read to John O'Keefe in murder trial
Jury hears voicemails from Karen Read to John O'Keefe in murder trial 02:41

DEDHAM – The Karen Read murder trial resumed on Thursday with testimony from a Massachusetts State Police trooper who examined John O'Keefe's cellphone after his body was found on the lawn of a Canton home.

Massachusetts State Police Trooper Nicholas Guarino, who investigated multiple phones and computers connected to the case, was on the stand when jurors heard expletive-laden voicemails Read left O'Keefe on the night he died.

The prosecution is down to its final witness in the trial and could rest its case before the week is up.

Read is accused of hitting O'Keefe with her SUV on January 29, 2022 and leaving him to die in the snow. Defense attorneys argue Read is being framed by several people, including law enforcement.

Jury hears Karen Read's voicemails to John O'Keefe

Guarino testified that Read called O'Keefe more than 50 times between midnight and 6 a.m., but O'Keefe never picked up. She left him eight voicemails in total that night - and the jury heard them all Thursday morning.

"John, I f---ing hate you," Read is heard yelling in the first voicemail left at 12:37 a.m.

She leaves another voicemail at 12:59 a.m.

"John, I'm here with your f---ing kids and nobody knows where the f--- you are, you f---ing pervert," Read says.

At 1:18 a.m., a voicemail from Read underscores the ongoing tension in their relationship.

"John, I'm going home. I cannot babysit your niece ... you're f---ing using me right now," Read says. "You're f---ing another girl ... you're a f---ing loser. F--- yourself."

Karen Read's voicemails to John O'Keefe played in court 00:32

The jury also heard a voicemail from 6:08 a.m., when Read, Jennifer McCabe and Kerry Roberts were searching for O'Keefe. Read could be heard screaming in the background.

Did John O'Keefe go inside Brian Albert's home?

A key point of contention in the trial is whether O'Keefe went inside Brian Albert's home at 34 Fairview Road. Albert testified he did not, while the defense has argued O'Keefe was involved in a fight inside the home.

Trooper Guarino walked the jury through a series of maps with both Waze and phone location data to show O'Keefe's path of travel. The data placed him outside 34 Fairview Road at 12:24 a.m.

"There was no GPS points ever showing inside the home, the backyard of the home," Guarino said. 

O'Keefe's Apple Health data logged him as climbing up and down stairs at 12:22 a.m. But Guarino testified that based on his phone GPS, he was in the car and over a half-mile from 34 Fairview when that log happened.

According to Guarino, Read's phone connected to O'Keefe's home Wi-Fi at 12:36 a.m. Her footsteps at home were recorded in one of her eight voicemails. The timeline places Read and O'Keefe outside 34 Fairview Road between 12:24 a.m. and 12:36 a.m., slightly different from the 12:45 a.m. time prosecutor Adam Lally said in opening statements.

During cross-examination, defense attorney David Yannetti noted that Guarino did not major in computer science. He also pointed out that Trooper Michael Proctor had O'Keefe's phone before giving it to Guarino.

Doctors testify about John O'Keefe's injury

The prosecution called medical experts to the stand for their final witnesses. Dr. Renee Stonebridge from the office of the Medical Examiner tested O'Keefe's brain. She testified that he had bleeding in the space surrounding his brain due to trauma. Stonebridge said O'Keefe's injuries can be consistent with being struck by a vehicle and then going to the ground. She did not face cross-examination.

The last witness called was medical examiner Dr. Irini Scordi-Bello. She said O'Keefe's blood alcohol was at least .21 at the time of his autopsy. His manner of death, however, was undetermined as she said she did not have enough information to determine if it was an accident or homicide.

O'Keefe's blunt force injuries were "not immediately lethal," Scordi-Bello said. "Therefore he may have been incapacitated by the injuries or knocked out, if you will and was not able to get himself into a warmer environment and therefore hypothermia set in."

Lally asked Scordi-Bello if there were any signs O'Keefe was in a fight. "I didn't see any signs, major signs of what I would call a significant altercation," Scordi-Bello said.

Court ended for the day before the jury was shown pictures from O'Keefe's autopsy. 

Defense says closing arguments may be on Wednesday

Defense attorneys anticipate they will start their case on Friday morning, with closing arguments in the middle of next week.

"I don't think it will be any longer than three days," David Yannetti said outside court Thursday. "I think there's a good chance we may be doing closing arguments on Wednesday."

Yannetti said the first witness they will call is the plow driver who cleared the route outside 34 Fairview Road that night and did not see John O'Keefe's body.  

Judge to allow testimony from doctor on alleged dog attack

Before the jury entered the courtroom Thursday, Judge Beverly Cannone ruled that retired emergency room Dr. Marie Russell will be allowed to testify for the defense. She will testify that she believes injuries to O'Keefe's arm were consistent with a dog attack.

Cannone also ruled that Dr. Andrew Rentschler, a crash reconstruction expert, will be limited in his testimony. Cannone said she is concerned about a biomechanical engineer testifying to a victim's injuries, but questions about his testimony will be revisited next week.

Will Karen Read take the stand?

The defense said earlier this month that when it gets the case, it expects to take about four full days. Now that it will soon be the defense's turn, many have wondered if Read herself will be called as a witness.

WBZ-TV first asked Read on June 13 if she's going to testify and said "Whatever the lawyers say I need to do, I'll do and I'm willing to go either way." On Tuesday, Read was asked after court ended for the day if she has thought about taking the stand.

"I have. I'd like to fill in some holes and correct some lies, but it's up to the attorneys and they'll make the call probably at the 11th hour and I'm there or not there. I defer to them," Read said. "I'm an outspoken person and I've never not been been able to speak up for myself in my defense except when it matters the most. I've got to rely on them and their expertise and I'll defer to the attorneys."  

Who is Karen Read?

Karen Read is from Mansfield, Massachusetts woman who was dating O'Keefe at the time of his death. According to testimony in the case, the couple had a strained relationship.

On January 29, 2022, Read dropped O'Keefe off at a house party at 34 Fairview Road in Canton, which was owned at the time by now retired Boston police officer Brian Albert.  

When O'Keefe did not come home, Read and two other women went out to look for him. They found O'Keefe dead, covered in snow outside of Albert's home.

First responders at the scene later testified they heard Read say "I hit him," though defense attorneys have questioned those statements.

Read is charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter while operating under the influence of alcohol, and leaving the scene of personal injury and death. She has pleaded not guilty.

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