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Karen Read speaks outside court: "There is no case against me"

Karen Read comments on case outside court, attorneys battle over potential witnesses
Karen Read comments on case outside court, attorneys battle over potential witnesses 02:28

DEDHAM - Karen Read dismissed the prosecution's case against her as "smoke and mirrors" and told reporters that she'd like to tell her story as the defense prepares to make its arguments in the high-profile Massachusetts murder trial. 

Court was back in session on Tuesday, but the jury was not there. Instead, there were three interviews with witnesses the defense plans to call to the stand.

Read's attorneys told WBZ-TV's Kristina Rex that prosecutors will likely wrap up their case this week and the defense could start to make its arguments as early as Friday. But first, some of their potential witnesses were interviewed at Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham so Judge Beverly Cannone can determine what can or cannot be said in front of jurors.

Read is accused of hitting and killing her boyfriend, Boston police officer John O'Keefe, with her SUV and leaving him to die in the snow in front of 34 Fairview Road in Canton on Jan. 29, 2022. Her defense says she is the victim of an elaborate coverup involving law enforcement and others.  

Karen Read asked if she could testify in her own defense

Outside court on Tuesday, Read was asked how she's feeling as the Commonwealth prepares to wrap up.

"How do I feel about their case against me? There is no case against me," she said. "After eight weeks, it's smoke and mirrors and it's going through my private life and trying to contrive a motive that was never there."

Read was also asked if she's thought about what it would feel like to be on the witness stand herself. 

"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," she said.

Defense witness plans to testify about alleged dog attack

One of the defense witnesses interviewed Tuesday was Dr. Marie Russell, a retired emergency physician and forensic pathologist who plans to testify that O'Keefe's injuries are consistent with a dog attack. The defense has previously argued that scratches on O'Keefe's arm could have been caused by a German Shepherd mix once owned by Brian Albert. 

The Commonwealth filed a motion to exclude Dr. Russell's testimony, saying they were surprised when the defense referenced a dog attack in opening statements. An expert witness for the prosecution also testified that samples taken from from O'Keefe's body did not contain canine DNA.

In court on Tuesday morning, Dr. Russell said the injuries and puncture holes in O'Keefe's shirt appeared consistent with an attack by a large dog.

"Having seen hundreds and hundreds of car accident victims, people hit by cars, I ruled that out very quickly," Russell said. "There's a combination of both what I consider bite wounds and scratch wounds on the arm."

The judge has not ruled yet on whether Dr. Russell can testify. Cannone said that if testimony from Dr. Russell is allowed, the prosecution will be able to find their own expert rebuttal witness. 

Crash experts for the defense were also interviewed on Tuesday. Dr. Daniel Wolfe testified that he was contacted by the Department of Justice and the FBI to investigate accident reconstruction in the case. Evidence of a federal investigation has not been allowed at trial. 

Also interviewed was Dr. Andrew Rentschler, who said his job is to figure out how injuries happen. 

Judge Cannone did not make a decision on Tuesday about testimony from either of the crash experts. 

Retired doctor interviewed in Karen Read trial says victim's injuries consistent with dog attack 00:57

What's happened so far this week in the Karen Read murder trial?

On Monday, jurors were shown the last text messages sent between Read and O'Keefe.

On the morning before O'Keefe's death, Read texted him, "You have really hurt me this time" and "Tell me if you are interested in someone else."

O'Keefe denied being interested in another woman and said  "Things haven't been great between us for awhile. Ever consider that?"

Massachusetts State Police Trooper Nicholas Guarino also read texts from Read in which she said she was back home in Mansfield. But her lawyer said outside of court that she went back to O'Keefe's house. 

Also on Monday, the prosecution called a digital intelligence expert who testified that controversial Google searches by Jennifer McCabe about how long it takes to die in the cold were made after 6:23 a.m., and not 2:27 a.m. as the defense says. 

What's the schedule for the Karen Read trial?

Judge Cannone has said the jury should get the case for deliberation by the last week of June. 

There's no court Wednesday because of the Juneteenth holiday. A full day of testimony is planned for Thursday, followed by a half day on Friday.

Who is Karen Read?

Read is a 44-year-old from Mansfield who was dating O'Keefe at the time of his death. 

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

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