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‘It’s very clear to us’: Karen Read attorneys accuse paramedic of lying on stand in murder of her Boston cop boyfriend

Karen Read listens to testimony on May 6, 2024. (Law&Crime Network)

Attorneys for Karen Read, the woman accused of running over her Boston cop boyfriend with her SUV and leaving him to die in a blizzard, opened the second week of her murder trial with a startling accusation: That a firefighter/paramedic who testified last week committed perjury.

Read’s attorney David Yannetti, out of the view of the jury, said Monday morning that following the testimony of Canton Fire Department Firefighter and Paramedic Katie McLaughlin on Thursday and Friday, the defense team received several photos of her and Caitlin Albert, the daughter of the homeowner where Boston police Officer John O’Keefe was found dead in the early morning hours of Jan. 29, 2022, on the front lawn.

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    The relationships between the Albert family and first responders are at the heart of the defense’s case that alleges that Read, 44, is being framed and is the victim of a massive cover-up. Prosecutors say Read hit O’Keefe, 46, as she was dropping him off at the Albert home following a night of drinking. She’s charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter while operating under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of personal injury and death. O’Keefe died of blunt-force trauma to the head and hypothermia.

    Last week, McLaughlin testified that she and Albert went to high school together. She described Albert as an “acquaintance” and said they had mutual friends. They would see each other socially when there was a large group of people but didn’t hang out one-on-one, she testified. McLaughlin also testified that they didn’t see much of each other after graduating high school about a decade ago.

    More coverage: ‘I hit him, I hit him, I hit him’: Paramedic testifies that Karen Read admitted to striking Boston cop boyfriend John O’Keefe

    The defense team tried to show the jury photos of the two that are on social media, however, the judge denied the request, saying the photos weren’t admissible. But over the weekend the defense received more photos and learned additional information about the two, including that they were teammates on the high school track team and attended a baby shower together about eight months before O’Keefe’s death, Yannetti said.

    “It’s very clear to us that Katie McLaughlin perjured herself,” Yannetti told Judge Beverly Cannone.

    Yannetti asked the judge to reconsider her ruling about the admissibility of photos of Albert and McLaughlin. Norfolk County Assistant Prosecutor Adam Lally said he believes Albert will testify later this week. Cannone said she will rule on whether the jurors can see the photos before Albert testifies. Read’s attorneys plan to use the third-party culprit defense, arguing that O’Keefe made it inside the Albert home where he became unconscious during a fight. The people inside the home, who were having a party after a night at the bar, then conspired to put O’Keefe outside to die and frame read, the defense contends.

    Also on Monday, Canton Police Department officers who first responded to the scene testified. Lt. Paul Gallagher described how the “unique” scene was difficult to process because of the blustery and snowy conditions. They had the idea of using a leaf blower to remove some of the snow that had fallen to search for evidence. They were able to find blood spots and a broken cocktail glass that apparently came from the bar where O’Keefe, Read, homeowner Brian Albert and others frequented the night before.

    Gallagher also testified about how the Canton police chief of detectives, who lived across the street from Albert, gave officers some red solo cups to scoop up the bloody snow. He said he believed it would have been more effective than the traditional cotton swabs to collect the blood because of the weather.

    “Nothing about the scene was standard,” Gallagher said.

    ‘Karen Read was framed’: Defense attorney says investigation into cop boyfriend’s death was ‘shoddy’ and ‘biased’

    Defense attorney Alan Jackson pressed Gallagher about whether the unusual collection could be a “recipe for evidence contamination.” Jackson showed photos of the blood, which was in the cups in a paper grocery bag near Read’s SUV at the police department. Authorities recovered O’Keefe’s blood on the back of the SUV. Gallagher said he didn’t think the evidence was contaminated. When Jackson asked whether evidence tampering could be involved, Lally objected and Cannone sustained the objection.

    Jackson also asked Gallagher why cops didn’t search the Albert residence. Gallagher said they had no probable cause to do so.

    “Nobody put John O’Keefe anywhere other than where he was found and that included his girlfriend,” Gallagher said.

    The day ended with a voir dire of Canton police Sgt. Adam Lank, another key figure of the supposed cover-up, outside the presence of the jury. Lank was the first police officer to interview those in the Albert home following the discovery of O’Keefe’s body. The Canton Police Department would later cede the investigation to the Massachusetts State Police because Brian Albert’s brother Kevin is a detective with CPD.

    Karen Read made a ‘beeline’ for dead cop boyfriend John O’Keefe’s body hours after killing him: Prosecutors

    At issue with the voir dire is whether the defense can question Lank about a prior incident in which he allegedly helped another Albert brother, Tim, out repercussions from a bar fight in 2002. Lank testified that he was off-duty when Tim Albert came up to him to inform him that he was in a bar fight with two brothers and had been threatened.

    “As I was telling him what to do, that’s when a group of people came walking down the street and he said ‘oh no here they come,’” Lank said.

    Lank testified that one of the brothers who was in the altercation with Tim Albert punched him in the face.

    The brothers sued Lank, claiming he was the aggressor and used his authority as a police officer to protect Tim Albert. It was later settled out of court. The brothers were charged with punching Lank but the case was later dropped.

    Jackson said the jury should hear about the incident because it shows how friendly Lank is with the Alberts. Lally said the incident is irrelevant because it happened so long ago and Tim Albert has nothing to do with the O’Keefe case. Lally also said the defense “overestimates” Lank’s role in the investigation. Cannone said she thinks the incident could be relevant to the case but wants to review police reports before making a decision.

    Testimony continues on Tuesday.

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    The post ‘It’s very clear to us’: Karen Read attorneys accuse paramedic of lying on stand in murder of her Boston cop boyfriend first appeared on Law & Crime.