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State ordered to hand over discovery in Aidan "Turtleboy" Kearney witness intimidation case

State ordered to hand over discovery in "Turtleboy" witness intimidation case
State ordered to hand over discovery in "Turtleboy" witness intimidation case 02:07

DEDHAM - The case against Aidan Kearney, the blogger known as "Turtleboy," has become intertwined with Karen Read's murder trial.

Kearney faces charges for witness intimidation regarding his behavior with certain witnesses in Read's trial. These charges have prevented the online blogger from being allowed in the courtroom to cover a select number of witness testimony in Read's trial.

Kearney was in court on Thursday - a day when Read's trial was on recess - for a status and motion hearing. His attorney, Tim Bradl, filed a number of motions including asking the judge to demand the state comply with discovery. He accused the Commonwealth of deliberately delaying Kearney's case to interfere with his ability to cover Karen Read's murder trial as an independent journalist.

Aidan Kearney
Blogger Aidan Kearney of Holden sits in court for the Karen Read murder trial at Norfolk Superior Court, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Dedham, Mass.  (Greg Derr/The Patriot Ledger via AP, Pool)

Discovery is the process of gathering evidence and information ahead of a trial, and attorneys are required to disclose discovery to lawyers on the other side. This process, Bradl says, has not happened in Kearney's case.

"We're disgusted," Bradl told reporters after the hearing, referring to the fact that the Commonwealth indicted Kearney but has yet to comply with discovery. "How about you do the basics and litigate the case," he said.

Commonwealth ordered to comply by June 13  

The judge Thursday ordered the Commonwealth to comply with discovery by June 13. Kearney will be back in court on July 11. Part of the delay, a substitute attorney told the judge, is that special prosecutor Ken Mello has been ill and has undergone surgery, delaying the process in this case. 

"I think it's become increasingly clear that the Commonwealth has bitten off a lot more than they can chew on this case," Kearney's attorney said.

The intertwining of Kearney's case and Read's - his, in the same courthouse on a day when hers is off - is unique, legal analyst Phil Tracy told WBZ. "It's unusual," he said.

Read's case will have several days off next week, with the only full day being Tuesday. "This is sort of a half time for the case," Tracy said. "And the judge is correctly pushing the case along and yet on the other hand [saying] let's go back, let's take a break, then let's finish the job." 

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