Perjury Claim Is New Twist in Karen Read Murder Trial

Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The case against Karen Read, the Massachusetts woman accused of drunkenly running over her cop boyfriend and leaving him for dead in a blizzard, took another turn on Monday when a prosecution witness was accused of lying.

”It’s very clear to us that Katie McLaughlin perjured herself,” defense lawyer David Yannetti told Judge Beverly Cannone before jurors entered the courtroom for the second week of the murder trial.

Prosecutors allege that Read hit her boyfriend, Boston Police Officer John O’Keefe, with her SUV after a night out drinking and abandoned him there. Defense attorneys and Read’s fans, however, insist she is being “framed” for O’Keefe’s murder in an elaborate police cover-up.

Last week, McLaughlin testified about the chaotic scene that unfolded after O’Keefe was found unconscious on fellow officer Brian Albert’s snow-covered front lawn. She said that Read was “distraught” as authorities loaded her boyfriend into an ambulance and repeatedly insisted that she had “hit” O’Keefe.

Under cross-examination, McLaughlin was grilled about her relationship with the Albert family and said there was no conflict of interest because, while she went to high school with the officer’s daughter in 2014, they were not close friends.

First Responders Recall Karen Read’s Freakout Near Boyfriend’s Body

Yannetti told the judge on Monday that his team received a “deluge” of photographs over the weekend that suggest a deeper relationship. Among the new photos, he said, is one that shows Albert’s daughter and McLaughlin at a June 2021 baby shower. On Friday, McLaughlin said other photos of her and Albert’s daughter were old and they never had a “one-to-one” friendship.

The defense lawyer asked that the group shot and other photos of McLaughlin and Albert’s daughter be entered into evidence to impeach her testimony. He also said that Albert’s daughter is a possible prosecution witness, which could further a conflict of interest.

Cannone said he would rule on the request on Tuesday.

Read, 44, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and other charges and faces a possible life sentence if convicted.

In opening arguments last week, Yannetti told the jury that O’Keefe’s injuries were consistent with a fatal beating. The defense attorney alleged that after the beating, O’Keefe was allegedly bitten by a pet dog outside Albert’s house and left outside during a blizzard.

First responders arrived at the scene about six hours later, where they found Read was running around with blood on her face after trying to give O’Keefe CPR.

“The only response I personally was given was just, ‘I hit him, I hit him. Oh my God, I hit him,’” Canton Firefighter Anthony Flematti testified last week. “She just repeated the phrase over and over again. ‘I hit him, I hit him.’”

McLaughlin testified she also tried to ask Read if her boyfriend had experienced any “significant trauma” before he was found—and she kept repeating that she “hit him.”

On the way to the hospital, which McLaughlin said took “longer than usual” because of the winter road conditions, O’Keefe was intubated. Another paramedic, Matthew Kelly, testified that O’Keefe had no pulse and was “almost frozen-like.” He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

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