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Defense promises ‘fireworks’ during Brian Higgins testimony – NBC Boston

Karen Read’s defense teams say ‘fireworks’ can be expected when Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent Brian Higgins takes the speech.

Read is accused of hitting her boyfriend, Boston police officer John O’Keefe, with her SUV on Jan. 29, 2022, and leaving him for dead in a snowbank in Canton. She has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and other charges.

The case has attracted national attention because the defense alleges that state and local law enforcement officials framed Read and allowed the real killer to walk free. O’Keefe’s body was found outside the home of another Boston police officer, Brian Albert, and the defense says his relationships with local and state police tainted their investigation.

After an evening of drinking at several bars, prosecutors say Read dropped O’Keefe off at a party hosted by Albert and his wife just after midnight. While making a three-point turn, prosecutors say, she struck O’Keefe before driving away. She returned a few hours later to find him in a snow bank.

Karen Read trial schedule

Thursday is an off day in the high-profile murder trial, with no testimony scheduled. But Higgins is expected to give evidence when court resumes on Friday. The court is only expected to sit in the Read case for one day next week – Tuesday.

Who is Brian Higgins?

Higgins is a friend of Albert’s and was present at the party at Albert’s home on Fairview Road hours before O’Keefe was found dead outside, according to court filings and testimony. He had previously exchanged flirtatious text messages with Read, according to documents filed by the prosecution.

He is one of three men who Read’s defense team says had motive, opportunity and means to attack O’Keefe that night.

Prosecutors said the defense’s statements about Higgins lacked evidence and amounted to a “fanciful” story.

Return to Wednesday’s testimony

During testimony Wednesday, Read’s defense team attempted to implicate a key prosecution witness, accusing him of conducting an incriminating Internet search hours before the man’s body was found, then to have canceled the search to cover their tracks.

Jennifer McCabe, a friend of the couple and Albert’s sister-in-law, previously testified that shortly after O’Keefe’s body was found, Read shouted, “I hit him!” I hit him! I hit him!” and frantically asked him to do a Google search to find out how long it takes for a person to die of hypothermia.

But Read’s lawyer showed jurors Wednesday phone data suggesting McCabe had also conducted an Internet search for variations of “how long to freeze to death” four hours earlier.

“You did this search at 2:27 a.m. because you knew John O’Keefe was out on your sister’s lawn freezing to death, correct?” attorney Alan Jackson asked McCabe. “Did you delete this search because you knew you would be involved in the death of John O’Keefe if this search was found on your phone?”

“I did not delete this search. I never did that research,” McCabe said. “I would never let John O’Keefe die in the cold because he was my friend that I loved.”

Jennifer McCabe, a witness in the murder trial of Karen Read, was pressed by defense lawyer Alan Jackson about the phrase “he can’t wait to freeze to death”, which she looked up at one point on January 29, 2022, in reference to the death of John O’Keefe. When the search was carried out, it became a major point of contention – and she argued, as the prosecution has long done, that she only carried out the search after Read took her to the O’Keefe’s body, rejecting the defense theory that she had searched him hours before anyone called. 911. Watch the full cross-examination here.

Jackson said it was “terribly convenient” for McCabe to disavow the search, which he said would exonerate his client. He also asked McCabe why she told grand jurors a dozen times that Read said, “Did I hit him?” or “Could I have hit him,” not the definitive “I hit him” that she now says she heard.

He suggested that McCabe changed her story after experiencing what she described as “vicious” harassment from Read’s supporters.

“In April 2023, you were distraught by public outrage over your family’s involvement in the death of John O’Keefe,” he said. “And two months later, in June 2023, for the first time, you testified in another proceeding, and lo and behold, you attributed the words ‘I hit him’ to my client.”

McCabe acknowledged she first used those words under oath in June, but insisted she also said the same thing to an investigator in the days after O’Keefe’s death .

She also described “daily, almost hourly” harassment directed at her family, including a “rolling rally” outside her home, although the judge warned jurors there was no evidence that Read her -even orchestrated it and that it should not be used against her.

“I was outraged because I am a prosecution witness who is being tortured because of lies,” McCabe said. “I am not being judged and these people are terrorizing me.”

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With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class.After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim.Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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