Mass. State Trooper Michael Proctor Takes Stand In Karen Read Murder Trial

Photo: Suzanne Sausville/WBZ NewsRadio

Updated 6/10/24 4:48 p.m.

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Massachusetts State Police Trooper Michael Proctor took the stand Monday in the Karen Read murder trial at Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham.

Proctor was the lead investigator after Boston Police Officer John O'Keefe's body was found in the snow in Canton back in January of 2022. Proctor is now under internal investigation over whether he violated department policy while investigating the case.

Read is accused of hitting O'Keefe, her boyfriend at the time, with her SUV and leaving him for dead in the snow outside of a Canton home owned by former Boston Police Officer Brian Albert. The defense argues Read is the victim of a police cover up, and that O'Keefe was actually beaten up inside the home and dragged outside.

Proctor is accused of having a conflict of interest. His sister is friends with witness Julie Albert, and knows other witnesses in the case. The defense alleges Julie Albert's son, Colin Albert, and her brother-in-law, Brian Albert were partially responsible for O'Keefe's death. When asked about it by the prosecution, Proctor said his relationships had "zero" impact on the investigation.

The defense also suggests Proctor also tampered with evidence in this case, including the taillight on Karen Read's SUV. Proctor denied the allegations. Prosecutors are using the damaged taillight as evidence that Read is guilty of hitting O'Keefe. Police say they found multiple taillight shards at the scene.

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

The defense argues that Read damaged her taillight by bumping into O'Keefe's SUV while she was pulling out of his driveway. Proctor told Assistant District Attorney Adam Lally that he did not observe any damage to O'Keefe's vehicle.

Earlier in the day, the jury heard testimony from Dighton Police Sgt. Nicholas Barros. He was there when Karen Read's SUV was seized by police.

"I saw there was some damage to the right-rear taillight. To my best ability and recollection, that taillight was not completely damaged, it was cracked. And a piece was missing, but not completely damaged," Barros said during his testimony.

The afternoon turned tense when the prosecution had Trooper Proctor recite text exchanges he had with other troopers and friends about Karen Read. Many of the texts were derogatory toward Read and used explicit language. Proctor told the court they were "unprofessional comments I should not have made and I'm not proud of."

The defense began cross-examining Trooper Proctor shortly before court ended for the day. Attorney Alan Jackson dug into Proctor's texts, suggesting that they paint him as a biased investigator.

"You weren't so much as objectively investigating her as objectifying her in those moments, correct?" Jackson asked.

"Again Mr. Jackson, it was a poor choice of words and a joke," Proctor responded.

Court is off on Tuesday. Cross-examination of Trooper Proctor is set to resume on Wednesday.

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