Day 21 Karen Read Murder Trial: State Investigator Returns To The Stand

Photo: James Rojas/WBZ NewsRadio

DEDHAM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Testimony wrapped up just before noon in Dedham at Norfolk Superior Court on Thursday for day 21 of witness testimony in the Karen Read murder trial.

Read is accused of hitting her boyfriend, Boston Police Officer John O'Keefe, with her SUV and leaving him to die in a snowstorm in January of 2022.

His body was found in the front lawn of a Canton home owned by retired Boston Police Officer Brian Albert.

She has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. Read's defense attorneys say this is an elaborate cover up and that she is being framed. They argue O'Keefe was actually beaten up inside of the Albert's home and dragged outside.

Massachusetts State Police Sgt. Yuriy Bukhenik was back on the stand on Thursday.

The day O'Keefe was discovered, Sgt. Bukhenik was the on-call State Police supervisor. He supervised Trooper Michael Proctor, who was the lead investigator into the death of O'Keefe. Trooper Proctor is now the subject of an internal investigation into his handling of the case.

On Thursday morning, Prosecutors continued to question Sgt. Bukhenik about the initial investigation, focusing on taillight evidence found at the scene. Prosecutors showed images of Karen Read's broken taillight pieces collected as evidence.

Sgt. Bukhenik also testified about another search at 34 Fairview (Brian Albert's home) on Feb. 3. after the snow started to melt. That's where he discovered a plastic straw, more taillight pieces, and O'Keefe's hat.

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Sgt. Bukhenik was instructed to unbox the evidence on the stand. He said he also found other pieces of glass in the weeks after.

Prosecutors also played audio of an interview with Karen Read on June 9, 2022.

"You're aware he was beaten up by Brian and Colin Albert? I mean, we're all in on the same joke, right? My taillight was cracked, and John was pulverized," Read told Bukhenik.

The defense questioned Bukhenik about surveillance footage of Karen Read backing up into O'Keefe's car in his driveway. Bukhenik said he didn't find any taillight evidence there.

Karen Read's attorneys say her taillight was cracked because of that, not from backing into O'Keefe.

The defense also questioned Bukhenik about why he didn't go to the scene the day O' Keefe was killed. They also asked Bukhenik why he initially thought O'Keefe's death was due to a 'physical altercation.'

Bukhenik testified that he had called the medical examiners office with his suspicions.

The defense also asked why a Canton Police Officer was collecting evidence at the scene after the department had recused itself from the case due to a conflict of interest and State Police stepped in.

A video taken inside the garage of the Canton Police Department was also shown to jurors of Karen Read's SUV. There was confusion surround in the video and what side the taillight crack was on. Bukhenik testified that the video was mirrored.

At the end of court, Defense Attorney Alan Jackson said Trooper Proctor will testify for the prosecution.

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