‘You literally changed your testimony within your own testimony.’ Canton homeowner aggressively cross-examined at Karen Read trial. - The Boston Globe (2024)

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Prosecutors say that Read returned to the scene hours later with two other women and found O’Keefe’s snow-covered body, repeatedly shouting “I hit him” in the presence of emergency responders. Read’s lawyers have cross-examined first responders in an effort to convince jurors they fabricated hearing the incriminating statements and have also questioned police officers about their personal ties to the Albert family, which hosted the gathering.

On Friday, Brian and Nicole Albert, who owned the Canton home where O’Keefe was left outside, testified that O’Keefe never went inside the house.

Here’s how the testimony unfolded on Monday.

3:55 p.m. — Caitlin Albert testifies under cross-examination

Albert told defense attorney David Yannetti that Michael Proctor, the lead investigator in the case, did not interview her in the days and weeks after O’Keefe’s death, nor was she interviewed at any point in 2022. In May 2023, she testified before a grand jury, Yannetti said.

”You’re being asked for the first time to give testimony ... in May of 2023, correct?” Yannetti asked.

“Yes,” she said.

She said Proctor interviewed her in August 2023. She described Brian Higgins as “a friend of my father’s” but not an acquaintance of hers. “It was just more of like, he was my father’s friend,” she said.

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Yannetti asked if she had watched any trial testimony and she said she had not. He then asked her about Katie McLaughlin, a paramedic who testified that she heard Read say “I hit him” at the scene. Albert said she wouldn’t consider McLaughlin, whom she went to high school with, “one of my close friends.”

Yannetti asked if she would consider McLaughlin “a friend” and the lawyers were called to sidebar.

Yannetti then asked Albert if she knows Proctor’s sister, Courtney Proctor, and she said she did. She said she didn’t recall Proctor asking her during her interview if she knew his sister.

Yannetti also asked if the house on Fairview Road had “a bunch of bedrooms” and she said yes.

“There was no problem with you staying there overnight, correct?” Yannetti said.

“Correct,” she said.

Yannetti asked if the door to the basem*nt was blocked from her view in the dining area.

“I don’t believe I could see the basem*nt door, no,” she said.

“You weren’t watching Colin to see where he went after you left him, correct?” Yannetti asked.

“Correct,” Caitlin Albert said.

Judge Beverly Cannone paused testimony just before 4 p.m. Caitlin Albert will resume her testimony Tuesday.

‘You literally changed your testimony within your own testimony.’ Canton homeowner aggressively cross-examined at Karen Read trial. - The Boston Globe (1)

3:45 p.m. — Caitlin Albert testimony continues

Albert said her father at one point let the dog out and also showed Higgins some photos in a family room area.

”But other than that, we all kind of stayed in that dining room/kitchen vicinity,” she said.

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She said she was the last visitor to leave the house. Her boyfriend was driving her Jeep Cherokee and he texted her that he was there to pick her up.

”I remember it was actively snowing and I was trying not to slip,” she said. “I believe he parked in the driveway.”

Her boyfriend backed out of the driveway and they drove up Fairview in the direction of the flagpole in the front yard, she said.

”I remember the windshield wipers were on” and snow was falling hard, she said.

“Once I got inside the car, my attention was mainly on him,” she said. She said they were having a conversation and she wasn’t looking out the passenger-side window as they drove away. Lawyers for Read have questioned how the guests who left the home could have missed O’Keefe lying in the snow if he was hit by Read’s SUV.

3:30 p.m. — Caitlin Albert, whose parents owned the Canton home where John O’Keefe’s body was found outside in the snow, is the next witness

Albert said she works in a health insurance fraud division of the state attorney general’s office. She said she sometimes calls Brian Jr. “Little Brian” to differentiate between him and their father.

On Jan. 28, 2022, she came to Canton with her boyfriend, arriving at the Waterfall bar before her mother and aunt. She said she couldn’t recall exactly when she got there but estimated it was around 6 p.m.

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Caitlin Albert said her uncle Chris Albert later joined the group, followed by the McCabes, her father, and his friend Brian Higgins.

“At some point we were all kind of there hanging out,” Albert said, adding that she “convinced” her father to join them.

She said she didn’t know who O’Keefe and Read were when they came in. But she said she had heard about O’Keefe and how he had taken in his nephew and niece after their parents died, and she knew that some of her relatives were friendly with him.

At one point, she said, O’Keefe asked her and her mother if they needed drinks.

“That was it,” she said, adding that she never formally met O’Keefe or “the woman that he was with” at the bar, referring to Read.

The group decided to head home around midnight, she said. She said her father drove with her and her mother back to Fairview Road.

Caitlin said she entered the home through the front door and saw her cousin Colin in the foyer.

“To my knowledge, he was going home,” she said. Colin was there for a matter of “minutes” after she and her parents returned, she said.

She said she was already inside when Brian Higgins arrived. She didn’t see what kind of car he was driving.

Caitlin Albert said she hung out in the kitchen and dining room area with her brother and his two friends for a while. Her aunt Jennifer McCabe and her uncle Matt McCabe arrived later, she said. Her cousin Colin had left by then, she testified.

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Caitlin Albert said she was at her parents’ home for two hours at most before she left. She said her mother played music on a speaker while everyone socialized.

“We said happy birthday to Brian [Albert] and that was kind of it,” Caitlin Albert said.

She said O’Keefe and Read did not enter the house at any point.

“Neither of them ever came into the home,” she said, reiterating the accounts of numerous witnesses.

3:25 p.m. — Brian Albert Jr. testimony continues under cross-examination

Albert said he didn’t see or hear any emergency vehicles or screaming before his father woke him up on Jan. 29. He said he didn’t look out the window because he feared it would make him anxious.

“I get overwhelmed easy,” he said.

He said he couldn’t say how many times he discussed the case with his family before his interview with law enforcement. Asked if there had been “hundreds” of such conversations, Albert said Little would have to distinguish between talks about the case and about “the harassment we’ve faced,” a reference to accusations that the family played a role in O’Keefe’s death.

“You never saw a 220-pound man in dark clothes in the white snow on the front lawn,” Little said.

“No,” Albert said.

“But yet you did see those tire tracks,” Little said. Brian Jr. said that he did.

He then stepped down and prosecutors called his sister, Caitlin Albert, as the next witness.

2:45 p.m. — Brian Albert Jr. continues his testimony

Brian Albert Jr. said Chloe was the family dog for “a few years.” The dog was upstairs in his parents’ bedroom on the night of the Jan. 28, and he told his father when he got back from the bar that he had forgotten to let the dog out to use the bathroom, so his father did.

Albert Jr. said that the dark SUV outside moved “within a couple minutes” after he first saw it and then moved a second time. When his father woke him up around 7:30 a.m., he did not observe any injuries on him. Asked if O’Keefe or Read came into the Fairview home on Jan. 29, Albert said “no, never.”

On cross-examination, Albert told defense attorney Elizabeth Little that he first spoke to authorities about the case some 18 months after O’Keefe’s death, in an interview at his lawyer’s office.

Albert said told Little he didn’t see his cousin Colin Albert drive away from his home but that he was gone by the time his father took the dog out to go to the bathroom.

Little also presented Albert with minutes from grand jury testimony indicating that the truck had left the second time he noticed Read’s SUV had moved.

Little noted that he testified to seeing tire tracks in the snow.

”But you did not see a 220-pound man laying in the snow,” Little said.

”No, I didn’t see that,” Albert said.

Albert said he wasn’t certain if Brian Higgins was still at his house when he looked out the window. Little quoted Albert’s grand jury testimony in which he said “at some point” Higgins “wasn’t there anymore.” The lawyers were then called to sidebar. After the sidebar, Albert said his father went upstairs to bed after Higgins had gone.

‘You literally changed your testimony within your own testimony.’ Canton homeowner aggressively cross-examined at Karen Read trial. - The Boston Globe (2)

2:30 p.m. — Brian Albert Jr. testifies he saw a dark SUV he didn’t recognize in front of the home

He said his cousin Colin arrived at his house “at some point” on Jan. 28. Colin had called him and asked if he could come by and Albert said that he could. Colin arrived around 10:45 p.m. or 11 p.m., Albert said.

“Colin knew some of them just from being in the same town,” Albert said of his friends. “He was just another addition” to the gathering.

“We didn’t go anywhere else [other than] the first-floor area,” Brian Jr. said, adding that he didn’t see anyone go down to the basem*nt or upstairs at any point.

Some of his friends left a little after 11 p.m., Brian Jr. said. His parents got back shortly afer midnight, he said.

He said he had assumed Colin had been dropped off at his house but ouldn’t say for certain how he got there.

Albert said he didn’t recall meeting his father’s friend Brian Higgins before.

His cousin was preparing to leave as his parents and sister and Higgins were entering the house, Albert testified. He indicated that a relative was picking him up, he said.

The timing of Colin Albert’s depature is important because lawyers for Read contend that Albert may have been involved in a fight with O’Keefe, leading to his death.

Brian Albert said his mother “went right to cleaning” when she got home, and that Jennifer McCabe and her husband arrived next.

“Colin had already left at that point, yes,” Albert said.

No one entered the home after the McCabes, he said, although at one point he saw a vehicle in front of the house.

“I saw a truck ... and then a little ways in front of it” was a dark SUV he didn’t recognize, Albert said.

He said his uncle, Matt McCabe, noticed the vehicles as well. Albert said he did not see anything between the truck or the dark SUV. Prosecutors have said Read was driving an SUV at the time.

Albert said he “didn’t hear anything” when he saw the vehicles.

One of his friends had gone outside to meet someone who pulled up, he said, and she stayed outside for a couple of minutes.

At one point, the SUV moved, he said.

“I had noticed just some tracks in the snow, indicating that the car had moved up,” Albert said.

His friend who went outside came back into the house, and his aunt later drove her and the other guests home, he testified.

His sister Caitin was the last to leave, he said, when her boyfriend Tristan Morris picked her up.

Albert said he went to bed around 2 a.m.

2:15 p.m. — Brian Albert’s son, Brian Albert Jr., takes the stand

Brian Albert Jr., 25, said he lives in Norwood with his parents and previously lived at 34 Fairview Road in Canton. He said he works in the IT sector. On Jan. 28, 2022, he had “a few friends” over to his home to celebrate his birthday.

”I was kind of up in the air, I didn’t know if I wanted to go out,” Brian Jr. said, adding that he later learned about the coming snowstorm.

His friends started arriving at his house around 7:30 p.m., he said.

”We were just hanging out,” Brian Jr. said. “Listening to music, we ate some food. I think we played some card games. Just normal hangout stuff. ... People were drinking, yeah.”

He said the friends at his house had gone to high school with him. They were mostly in the kitchen and dining room area, he said.

2 p.m. — Brian Albert continues testimony on redirect

Prosecutor Adam Lally asked Albert if he was aware that a request by Read’s lawyers to inspect his physical phone had been denied, and he said that he was.

He told Lally he last took part in a boxing match about 20 years ago, and that defensive tactics training is standard for every Boston police officer.

“That would include John O’Keefe, correct?” Lally said of the training.

“Yes,” Albert said.

He also said there were areas in his house where phone reception “wasn’t great.”

He told Lally his phone may not have been locked when he was having an intimate moment with his wife in bed.

When Lally asked Albert what he discussed during his phone calls on Jan. 29, he answered “in general, I’m sure there was some discussion about the awful thing that had taken place, and there may have been some other calls that were unrelated as well.”

Read and O’Keefe “would have been welcomed with open arms” if they had gone to his house early on the 29th, Albert testified. He said he wished that they had done so.

1:45 p.m. — Brian Albert continues testimony

Read lawyer Alan Jackson asked Albert f he watched a televised hearing on Sept. 22, 2022 at which the phones were discussed.

Albert said no.

“I didn’t know anything about it,” he said of the hearing.

Jackson pointed to Albert’s grand jury testimony in June 2023, when he indicated that it was “only possible” that he could have been the one to answer a call from his friend Brian Higgins shortly after 2:20 a.m. on Jan. 29.

Jackson asked Albert again if he was trying to coordinate stories when he made various calls on Jan. 29. “Absolutely not,” Albert said.

On redirect, prosecutor Adam Lally asked Albert if he wasn’t specifically with Read and O’Keefe at the Hillside bar on Jan. 22, or at the Waterfall on Jan. 28. Albert said that was accurate because he was with friends and relatives on those occasions and the couple also happened to be there.

He said he went to his sister-in-law’s home on Jan. 29 to offer comfort to her after John O’Keefe had died.

Albert told Lally he went to bed after 2 a.m. on Jan. 29 and had been asleep “only a few hours” when his sister-in-law burst into his bedroom to tell him what happened to O’Keefe.

Lally asked if there was “any reason” for Albert to go outside that morning. After Read found O’Keefe’s body in the snow, a number of parademics and police officers arrived outside the Alberts’ home to provide medical aid and investigate his death.

“No,” Albert said, noting that O’Keefe had already been taken to the hospital.

‘You literally changed your testimony within your own testimony.’ Canton homeowner aggressively cross-examined at Karen Read trial. - The Boston Globe (3)

12:45 p.m. — Albert continues testimony on phone calls with friend Brian Higgins

Albert said he called Brian Higgins at 7:20 the next morning after his sister-in-law had awakened him and explained what had happened to O’Keefe. Jackson asked if they discussed the 2:22 a.m. call and Albert said no.

”We were out the night before and I thought it was important for him to know what had happened,” Albert said.

Albert said he and Higgins had a number of additional calls before he spoke to his brother Kevin Albert, a Canton detective. He said he also spoke with police chief Ken Berkowitz that morning.

Albert said he called Higgins at 3:24 p.m. and again at 6:12 p.m. and 6:35 p.m. He called Kevin Albert that evening as well and spoke to Berkowitz on Jan. 30, among other calls, he testified.

”The subject of these calls were all about the fact” that O’Keefe had been found dead on Albert’s lawn, Jackson said.

”There were a lot of calls being made to a lot of people because of this horrible situation,” Albert said.

Jackson asked if the calls were an effort to coordinate stories.

”Absolutely not,” Albert said.

Judge Beverly Cannone sent jurors out for lunch shortly before 12:40 p.m.

12:30 p.m. — Brian Albert testifies about overnight call from his friend

Brian Albert said he testified previously that he and his wife were in bed together around the time he inadvertently called Brian Higgins, his friend.

Read lawyer Alan Jackson produced phone records showing that the 2:22 a.m. call to Higgins lasted just a second or two. He said the records show that Higgins called back 17 seconds later, and that conversation lasted 22 seconds.

”That’s what the records reflect, yes,” Albert said. “I just know I didn’t answer the call.”

Jackson asked Albert if he told anyone in law enforcement the next day that he had missed a call from Higgins.

”I wasn’t aware of that call,” Albert said.

Jackson asked if Albert inadvertently tapped his locked phone once leading to the butt dial to Higgins.

”I don’t know that the phone was locked,” Albert said. “I butt dial people often and make inadvertent calls.”

Albert said “my wife was in the room with me, and we were hanging out,” and he missed the call from Higgins.

”We’re all guessing here,” Albert said.

Jackson asked if Albert’s phone was unlocked at the time and he said he didn’t know.

Albert repeated that he did not answer the call from Higgins.

Jackson said “a 22-second call from Higgins had to have been answered by you.”

Albert said he didn’t agree with that premise.

”I don’t remember answering that call,” Albert said. “Could have hit the phone by accident causing it to answer.”

”Did you have any conversation with Brian Higgins about a 2:22 a.m. phone call?” Jackson asked.

Albert said he mentioned to Higgins the next day that he may have butt-dialed him.

12:20 p.m. — Read lawyer grills Brian Albert with jury present

Read lawyer Alan Jackson asked Brian Albert if prosecutors had told him in September 2022 that he had to preserve his phone. “No,” Albert said.

Jackson then read a letter addressed to Albert from prosecutors informing him that he was to preserve the data on his phone ahead of a hearing on the matter.

“I did not” receive the notice, Albert said.

“Isn’t it true that you were in fact ordered to preserve your phone by the Commonwealth?” Jackson asked.

Albert said he was “made aware of that” at some point and had “upgraded” his phone in September 2022.

Jackson said Albert did so on the day before he received the preservation order from prosecutors.

“You now claim that you got rid of the phone on Sept. 22, 2022, hours before you were ordered to preserve it,” Jackson said. “That’s your testimony, correct?”

“Yes,” Albert said.

He said Sept. 4 was his birthday and his phone had been breaking down. He got the upgrade done a few weeks later.

“Happy Birthday,” Jackson said.

He noted that Albert had been asked in prior proceedings if the timing of the upgrade was a “coincidence,” and he had said yes.

Jackson asked if Albert and his friend Brian Higgins, who was at the Fairview Road house the night O’Keefe was killed, both agreed to get rid of their phones. Albert said “no.”

Jackson asked Albert why he testified in June 2023 that he knew there were “conversations about the phone” between him and Higgins.

“Did you and Brian Higgins have a conversation about your phone?” Jackson asked.

Albert said he didn’t remember.

“You’re aware that Brian Higgins has also gotten rid of his phone,” Jackson said.

“Yes,” Albert said.

Asked if authorities had ever photographed his entire home, Albert said, “No, I wish they had.”

“Me too,” Jackson said.

Albert also said investigators never performed any sort of forensic sweep of the home for evidence.

He told Jackson when asked that he had received training in hand-to-hand combat in the Marines. He said he received training on “defensive tactics” from the Boston police department.

“You’re a trained boxer, you’re a trained fighter,” Jackson said.

Albert said he had boxed in the past.

Jackson asked if Albert had been “shown on TV” sparring in a ring as part of a police reality show.

Albert said he may have been filmed training in a boxing ring.

Jackson again showed the video from the Waterfall bar of Albert and Higgins play-fighting.

“I think we were just fooling around,” Albert said. Albert said he was “just being silly” and hanging out with his friends.

In response to Albert’s fighting stance, Higgins was “kind of doing the same thing,” Albert said.

Jackson asked Albert if he was giving Higgins advice for proper fighting technique. Albert said no.

“I don’t think it was that serious,” Albert said. “We were just playing around.”

Noon — Brian Albert cross-examination continues without jurors present

Read lawyer Alan Jackson asked if Brian Albert didn’t tell prosecutor Adam Lally that he had “gotten rid of” a phone subject to the protection order. ”I did not,” Albert said.

Jackson asked what he thinks happens to data on phones he turns into the store during an upgrade.

”Some data I guess isn’t” retained during the upgrade, Albert said.

11:30 a.m. — Brian Albert testifies without jurors present about his phone

Albert said he hired a lawyer at the end of 2022 to prepare for a subpoena he had received in connection with the case. Albert told Jackson he didn’t remember receiving a letter from prosecutors in fall 2022 telling him not to destroy or alter any data in his phone. Jackson then read the letter aloud.

The letter indicated that a hearing on the phone was scheduled for early October 2023.

”I don’t remember receiving that document, no,” Albert said. “Subsequent to me upgrading my phone, I spoke with the DA’s office.”

Albert said he didn’t have the date of that conference call, which he said included prosecutor Adam Lally, victim-witness advocate Steve Nelson, Brian Higgins, Jennifer McCabe and her husband, and “maybe somebody else.”

“During the conversation, Mr. Lally said that the defense had filed a motion to ask for the phones to be preserved,” Albert said. Jackson asked if Albert had volunteered during the call that he had just upgraded his phone, and Albert said “no.”

Albert said he has upgraded his iPhone “multiple times.”

11 a.m. — Defense lawyer asks Brian Albert about sale of his home, his police training

Under questioning from Read lawyer Alan Jackson, Albert said his parents built the Fairview home during the 1970s.

“The fact is you listed that house for sale for the first time ever in November 2022,” Jackson said.

Albert said that was when the home was listed but that the family contacted a realtor beginning in 2021.

Jackson also noted that Albert, as a sergeant detective in the Boston police department, held a supervisory role over other detectives.

He asked Albert if he had investigated homicides and other violent crimes and Albert said his concentration was primarily in locating and apprehending fugitives.

Jackson asked if Albert had training and knowledge of criminals’ efforts to cover their tracks.

“I’ve never gone to a training for criminals to cover up conduct, no,” Albert said.

Jackson asked about an iPhone that Albert owned for several years and the lawyers were called to sidebar. After the sidebar, Judge Beverly Cannone sent jurors out for oral arguments related to the phone.

10:20 a.m. — Albert continues to testify under sharp questioning from Read lawyer

Jackson asked Albert what the family used their basem*nt for, and he said there was a weight room there, but much of it wasn’t usable because of flooding damage.

”If you wanted to move something large or heavy out of that basem*nt without having to go through the main house, could you do that?” Jackson asked.

”Yes, it would depend what it was obviously,” Albert said, adding that a bulkhead door led out to a front yard area.

The same area, Jackson asked, where O’Keefe’s body was found?

“Yes,” Albert said.

Judge Beverly Cannone called a morning recess shortly after 10:30 a.m.

10:15 a.m. — Brian Albert cross-examination continues.

Albert said his friend Brian Higgins did not voice any displeasure over seeing O’Keefe and Read enter the Waterfall together on Jan. 28.

Albert said he saw no tension between Read and O’Keefe at the Waterfall and “it didn’t appear that they were drunk, no.”

He said “whoever wanted to” was welcome to come back to his house on Fairview Road early on Jan. 29.

Albert’s friend Brian Higgins, who came back to Fairview, drove a white Jeep at the time, Albert said.

“I don’t know where he parked,” Albert said.

When he got home, Albert testified that his nephew Colin, his son Brian Jr., and two of Brian’s female friends were sitting at the kitchen table.

Colin was 17 or 18 at the time, Albert said, and he was about 5 feet 11 inches or 6 feet tall and probably weighed about 175 pounds. Read’s lawyers contend that O’Keefe may have been beaten by the teenager inside the home that night.

“Plays football,” Jackson said of Colin.

“Yes,” Albert said.

“He’s good at football,” Jackson said.

“Yes,” Albert said.

Albert said he went to the bathroom and that Colin was gone when he came out. He said he never saw his nephew leave the home.

Jackson pointed to a police report that said Albert had indicated that his daugher, Caitlin, had left around 12:15 a.m. Albert said he did not say that.

“If that’s what Officer [Michael] Lank recalls, he’s just wrong,” Jackson said.

“Yes,” Albert said.

Jackson said neither Albert nor his wife initially told investigators that Colin Albert had been in the home that night.

“Is there a reason you left his name out?” Jackson asked.

“He wasn’t there for the duration of the time we had that night,” Albert said.

Jackson noted Albert didn’t see his nephew leave.

“I didn’t physically see him leave, no,” Albert said. “Colin wasn’t at the house for the duration of the night.”

Albert said other people had been in the home before he arrived and he didn’t mention them in his statements to police either.

Jackson stressed that police were asking him who he saw in his home when he got back.

“In your initial reports to police, his name was never mentioned, was it?” Jackson said.

“I did not mention it, no,” Albert said.

He conceded that police wrote in the initial report that his daughter Caitlin left the home around 12:15 a.m.

“You’re aware that she did not leave until 1:45 or thereafter,” Jackson said.

Albert said he believed that was correct. He said “no” when Jackson asked if he was “trying to cover” for his daughter.

Later in the day, Albert said he went to his sister-in-law Jennifer McCabe’s house. While he was there, police interviewed her.

”You had no official reason to be at Jen McCabe’s house during a [police] interview with Jen McCabe,” Jackson said.

“No,” Albert said.

He testified last week that he went to her home to comfort her, as she had appeared distressed earlier when she told his family what had happened to O’Keefe. McCabe, Albert’s sister-in-law, was with Read when they found O’Keefe’s body and then burst into the Alberts home to tell them.

9:55 a.m. — Defense lawyer Alan Jackson questions witness Brian Albert. ‘You literally changed your testimony within your own testimony.’

Jackson asked Albert about testimony he gave before a grand jury in April 2022, when he said “no, I’ve never met her or seen her before [Jan. 28], maybe once but I’ve never had a conversation with her, I don’t think,” referring to Read.

Jackson said “you literally changed your testimony within your own testimony.”

Albert replied that he had “qualified” his first sentence with his second sentence. Jackson asked Albert if he had spent “several hours” with O’Keefe and Read on Jan. 22, 2022 at the Hillside bar. Albert said he was at the Hillside that night with his brother Chris and others, including Read and O’Keefe.

Jackson also showed Albert a photograph from the Hillside taken on Jan. 22. The Alberts and O’Keefe are in the picture.

Albert said he didn’t know who took the photo.

”Karen Read took the photo, didn’t she?” Jackson asked.

Albert repeated that he wasn’t sure. ”I have no idea who took the photo,” he said.

”You were interacting with Karen Read and John O’Keefe throughout that evening, correct?” Jackson asked.

Albert said he recalled speaking to O’Keefe that night but not Read.

Jackson said Albert and Read were “socializing” six days before O’Keefe’s death, yet Albert later told authorities he’d never seen her before Jan. 28.

Albert said he and Read were both in the same place at the Hillside but didn’t socialize. He also said he told the grand jury he did not speak to Read at the Waterfall bar on Jan. 28.

Jackson then played a video clip of Brian Albert and Read at the Waterfall that night.

”It appears I’m talking at the table,” Albert said. “I don’t know if it’s specifically to her. ... I can’t say for sure that I was directly talking to the defendant.”

Jackson said “the reality is you had many conversations with her that night,” as he would with anyone at the bar.

Albert said “I do not recall having conversations with Karen Read that night. ... I don’t think that that video shows that.”

Albert said he was interviewed by Michael Proctor, the lead State Police investigator on the case, on Jan. 29, 2022, the day O’Keefe died. Jackson noted that Albert told Proctor he “did not know” Read.

”I may have, yes,” Albert said.

”You were trying to distance yourself from [knowing] Ms. Read ... weren’t you?” Jackson asked.

“No,” Albert said.

”You thought that it was important to try to deny knowing John O’Keefe and Karen Read” Jackson said.

Judge Cannone sustained a prosecution objection.

”You lied under oath when you said I’ve never met or seen her before,” Jackson said.

”No, because that wasn’t my whole” statement, Albert said.

Asked if O’Keefe came into his home on Jan. 29, Albert said, “absolutely not. I wish he had.”

9:45 a.m. — Brian Albert cross examination continues

Read lawyer Alan Jackson asked Brian Albert if Brian Higgins said anything about being “upset” about seeing Read enter the Waterfall with O’Keefe.

“No,” Brian Albert said. Jackson asked Albert about previous grand jury testimony when he said he had never met or seen Read before that night. Albert said he didn’t recall the testimony. The lawyers then went to sidebar.

9:15 a.m. — Brian Albert testifies under cross-examination

Defense attorney Alan Jackson asked Brian Albert, a retired Boston police officer, about his law enforcement career, with Albert telling him he had testified in court about 100 times as part of his professional duties.

Albert owns the home on Fairview Road where John O’Keefe was found badly injured by the road in the snow. Prosecutors allege that Karen Read ran into him at high speed after a night of drinking and left him for dead. Read’s lawyers say O’Keefe was beaten inside the home during a late-night gathering. On Friday, Albert said O’Keefe had never come inside the home that night.

On Monday, Albert said he spoke with prosecutor Adam Lally in April 2022 and again “approximately a few weeks ago” to prepare for his testimony.

Jackson asked about the “prep” he did with Lally, and Albert said he spoke with “Mr. Lally and my attorney,” but couldn’t remember where that occurred.

”What if anything have you reviewed in anticipation of your testimony in this trial?” Jackson asked.

Albert said he reviewed the video footage from the Waterfall bar where he and a group of people, including Read and O’Keefe, had gone that night. He also reviewed a transcript of his grand jury testimony.

He said in a snippet of the video clip he saw, “I was fooling around with Brian Higgins,” referencing the play-fighting he and his friend, an ATF agent, had done briefly at the bar.

Asked if he and Higgins were “practicing fighting techniques,” Albert said they were “just joking” and “fooling around.”

”Did you show him how you would throw a punch?” Jackson asked.

”I don’t remember that, no,” Albert said.

”At some point did you flip him around, grab him in a wrestling hold?” Jackson asked. Albert said he “may have” but he couldn’t recall.

Asked if Lally had prepped him for a cross-examination, Albert said Lally told him he could be asked about the night at the Waterfall and what happened later at his home.

Jackson asked Albert if he had watched any previous proceedings in the Read prosecution; he said he had not. Albert also said he wouldn’t describe Higgins as a close friend, although they met professionally about 15 years ago.

Jackson asked about the trip the two men took from New York back to Massachusetts on the night of Jan. 28. Albert said when they got back to Canton they went to a bar called The Hillside. Albert said Higgins did not discuss Read at the bar or discuss the fact that he and Read had been exchanging what Jackson described as flirtatious text messages.

8:10 a.m. — Here’s how testimony unfolded on Friday

Brian and Nicole Albert, who owned the Canton home where John O’Keefe was left outside in a blizzard in January 2022, testified Friday that O’Keefe had never come inside the house and that they only learned he had died when Nicole’s sister burst through their bedroom door with the news.

“She was very upset,” Brian Albert, a former Boston police officer, said of his sister-in-law, Jennifer McCabe. “Almost hysterical. She said something to the effect [of], ‘John is dead.’”

As the second week of the murder trial of Karen Read concluded in Norfolk Superior Court, the Alberts testified that while many friends and family members came back to their home on Fairview Road after gathering at a local bar, O’Keefe and Read did not, contradicting a central claim by Read’s defense team.

Read the full story.

8:05 a.m. — Here’s how testimony unfolded on Thursday

A witness in the murder trial of Karen Read on Thursday recounted driving to her relative’s Canton home on Jan. 29, 2022, to drop off birthday donuts for her nephew, only to learn Read’s boyfriend had been found left for dead on the front lawn of the property hours earlier.

Snow was falling at a “pretty good” rate when Julie Albert, a Canton resident who lived two doors down from Boston police Officer John O’Keefe, pulled into the driveway of her brother-in-law’s home at 34 Fairview Road around 8:30 a.m. to leave donuts and a card in her nephew’s car, Albert testified in Norfolk Superior Court.

Read the full story.

Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com.

‘You literally changed your testimony within your own testimony.’ Canton homeowner aggressively cross-examined at Karen Read trial. - The Boston Globe (2024)

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