Karen Read trial live: Witness testifies he woke up to screaming the day victim’s body was found

Day 13 of the trial of a woman accused of murdering her police officer boyfriend in Massachusetts ended on a cliffhanger on Thursday, when a key witness testified to waking up to the sound of screaming on the morning the victim’s body was found.

Karen Read, a financial analyst and former Bentley University professor, is on trial charged with the second-degree murder and manslaughter of Boston police officer John O’Keefe.

Prosecutors allege that Ms Read ran over O’Keefe in her car while drunk, leaving him for dead in the snow outside a fellow police officer’s home in the early hours of 29 January 2022.

Ms Read’s defense claims that she is being framed by police as part of a sprawling cover-up involving prominent law enforcement family, the Alberts.

On Thursday, Matthew McCabe testified that he spent the night before O’Keefe died at a bar with Ms Read, O’Keefe and some other officers, before going back to the Albert home. The next morning, he woke to the sound of screaming.

The testimony came after Ms Read lost her cool with her defense team on Wednesday, rolling her eyes and giving a strong reaction during a break in the trial.

Key points

  • Colin Albert says he had ‘never’ threatened John O’Keefe

  • Read has strong reactions during Wednesday’s court proceedings

  • Day 13 of Karen Read trial

  • Matthew McCabe said he woke up to ‘screams’ in bedroom

Karen Read was ‘framed’, defence attorneys say

20:57 , Dan Gooding

During opening statements on the first day of the trial, Ms Read’s attorney said she was framed for the death of John O’Keefe.

Court ends abruptly for the day

18:45 , Dan Gooding

Following Mr McCabe’s testimony of hearing screams in his bedroom on the morning of 29 January 2022, the day John O’Keefe died, the court session ended.

Attorneys had approached the bench to speak with the judge off-mic before she called proceedings to a close for the day.

Matthew McCabe said he woke up to ‘screams’ in bedroom

18:42 , Dan Gooding

Matthew McCabe told the court that he had gone to bed with his wife Jennifer McCabe around the same time that night, after getting home from the Alberts’ home.

“I woke up to screams in my bedroom,” he explained before court ended for the day without further questioning.

Karen Read argues she was framed

18:30 , Dan Gooding

Ms Read’s attorneys argue she has been framed in a large cover-up, claiming a law enforcement official who investigated the case has personal ties to the family of retired detective Brian Albert, outside whose home O’Keefe was found. Her attorneys also claim O’Keefe’s injuries were consistent with a severe beating, rather than with being struck by a car.

An autopsy found that O’Keefe had several abrasions on his right forearm, two black eyes, a cut on his nose, a two-inch laceration to the back of his head and multiple skull fractures. Authorities also say hypothermia was a contributing factor in his death.

Read more here:

Karen Read: Professor goes to court as prosecutors say she ran over cop boyfriend

WATCH: Prosecutors believe Karen Read killed John O’Keefe

17:45 , Dan Gooding

During opening statements two weeks ago, prosecutors laid out the evidence they say proves Ms Read ran her boyfriend over and left him for dead.

McCabe was at a local bar the night John O’Keefe died

17:21 , Dan Gooding

Matthew McCabe explained how he and a group of friends were at the bar until around midnight the night of the alleged murder.

He explained that the group at The Waterfall included his wife Jennifer, along with members of the Albert family: Nicole, Chris and Julie Albert, as well as a few other friends.

At some point later on in the evening, he said Mr O’Keefe and Karen Read showed up, along with other members of the Albert family.

Prosecutors call next witness Matthew McCabe

16:56 , Dan Gooding

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has called the next witness to the stand: Matthew McCabe.

Matthew McCabe seen in the witness box during Karen Read’s trial on 16 May 2024 (NBC 10 Boston)
Matthew McCabe seen in the witness box during Karen Read’s trial on 16 May 2024 (NBC 10 Boston)

Mr McCabe is the husband of Jennifer McCabe and both were at the Alberts’ home on Fairview Road where John O’Keefe was found on 29 January 2022, according to NBC 10 Boston.

He was friends with Mr O’Keefe and Ms Read by extension.

Colin Albert says he had ‘never’ threatened John O’Keefe

16:51 , Dan Gooding

Prosecutors asked Colin Albert if he had ever had any issues with the victim, including whether they had argued about women.

The witness replied to each question with “never”.

He was then asked about people writing about him online, which he said began around a year ago.

“People on Twitter, Instagram, social media were just coming at my family, calling us murderers, harassing us, turning up to our doorsteps, our sports games,” he said. “We couldn’t leave the house without people taking pictures of us.”

Defence argues police did not investigate Alberts

16:30 , Dan Gooding

The defence presented a photo of Colin Albert with grazed knuckles from February 2022, which he claimed happened when he fell over while with friends.

Defence attorney Alan Jackson said this wasn’t true, instead saying the injury showed the witness had been in a fight around the time the photo was taken, not long after Mr O’Keefe died.

Colin Albert (centre) with bruising on his knuckles (NBC 10 Boston)
Colin Albert (centre) with bruising on his knuckles (NBC 10 Boston)

Mr Jackson said police did not do enough to investigate those inside the Alberts’ home on 29 January 2022 and that Colin Albert’s injury backed his assertion that the witness has violent tendencies.

Read has strong reactions during Wednesday’s court proceedings

16:01 , Alex Lang

Yesterday, Ms Read snapped at her defense attorneys during a break and the entire exchange was captured by cameras in the courtroom.

The incident happened after testimony and Read rolled her eyes and then looked sharply at her lawyers.

Karen Read reacts to her family during a break in her murder trail at Dedham Superior Court on Wednesday (AP)
Karen Read reacts to her family during a break in her murder trail at Dedham Superior Court on Wednesday (AP)

Defense paints Colin Albert as violent

15:41 , Dan Gooding

Karen Read’s attorney has tried to paint Colin Albert as a violent individual, by showing videos from his phone and social media that included him saying he would “f**k you up” to unknown individuals he was potentially upset with.

Mr Albert claimed these were from sometime during high school, meaning they were made a few years before the night John O’Keefe died.

Ms Read’s defence team believes Mr Albert did have the means and the motive to attack the victim and will be hoping these videos show that he has violent tendencies.

Day 13 of Karen Read trial

15:29 , Dan Gooding

Court has been underway once more in the murder trial of Karen Read, as her defence attorney cross-examines key witness Colin Albert.

Mr Albert was allegedly inside the home in Canton, Massachusetts, where John O’Keefe was found lying in the snow outside on 29 January 2022.

Ms Read’s team argues that Mr Albert was involved in a fight which ultimately led to Mr O’Keefe’s death.

What have other witnesses said?

20:48 , Dan Gooding

On Wednesday, the court heard from Allison McCabe, the daughter of Jennifer McCabe, who was with Ms Read when they discovered Mr O’Keefe’s body lying in the snow in front of the home of Brian and Nichole Albert, where a group went after the bar they had all been at closed.

During Allison’s emotional testimony, she came to the defence of Colin Albert, one of the men Ms Read’s defence team claims was involved in a fight at Albert’s home that they say resulted in Mr O’Keefe’s death, according to CBS.

Allison told the court she had picked up Colin Albert and drove him to the home, and that Colin was not present during the alleged fight.

“Colin wasn’t at the house. He’s being harassed for … he was not at the house when John [O’Keefe] was there. I drove him home. People are harassing him, saying he was at the house when it’s not true,” Allison McCabe said in court.

Read more from Wednesday’s hearing.