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The Karen Read trial focuses on physical evidence as the sixth week begins

Attorneys for Read say she was framed and that O’Keefe entered the Fairview home, then owned by a fellow Boston police officer whose son was celebrating his 23rd birthday, where he was fatally beaten before his body was planted on the lawn .

State Police Lt. Kevin O’Hara, one of the investigators on the scene, testified for much of the morning about how his unit, known as the Special Emergency Response Team (SERT), was called to Fairview Road in Canton and began the investigation .

“It was a snowstorm” outside when State Police Lt. Brian Tully contacted him shortly after 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 29, 2022, O’Hara said. “He said they were conducting an investigation into the death” and were “seeking assistance in finding evidence.”

O’Hara said seven SERT troopers responded to the scene. He arrived shortly before 5 p.m

“We didn’t see anyone outside the homes,” O’Hara said, adding that a resident of 34 Fairview Road “went outside for a moment” and asked troopers “if we were here because of what happened earlier, we said yes. ”

Tully had asked troopers to look for missing parts of the taillight and O’Keefe’s missing sneaker, O’Hara said.

“We found multiple pieces of red and bright taillights,” O’Hara said. “They were standing on the street between the flagpole and the fire hydrant.” He said investigators did not see any tire tracks in the area.

Under cross-examination, O’Hara told defense attorney David Yannetti that he knew state trooper Michael Proctor, the lead investigator on the Read case. Yannetti asked if Tully was “holding you up” while deploying the SERT team. O’Hara said his team must respond to a “formal request” under agency protocol.

He told Yannetti that Tully reported O’Keefe’s body was found on the front lawn around 6:30 a.m. Yannetti asked if that meant snow had accumulated for about eight hours before the SERT team began its work.

“Correct, sir,” O’Hara said.

When asked if he knew no one from law enforcement was checking the crime scene when Tully called him, O’Hara said that was not the case.

“Did you know that the scene remained open to the public for hours before you were asked to search?” Yannetti asked.

“I wasn’t aware of that,” O’Hara said.

O’Hara told Yannetti that authorities had never discussed searching the home at 34 Fairview Road.

Following O’Hara’s testimony, Maureen Hartnett, a forensic scientist with the state police crime lab, discussed her role in the investigation, which began when she went to the Canton Police Department on Feb. 2, 2022, and then to the police garage where The SUV van Read was detained.

“There was a dent in the trunk door, there were scratches on the rear bumper and there was a broken taillight,” Hartnett said, reading from a report. “I saw a visible hair” and “apparent pieces of glass” on the rear bumper.

Hartnett said she ran blood tests on the back of the vehicle. “They were negative,” Hartnett said.

She said she also received a broken drinking glass and several plastic cups with frozen red and brown stains from where O’Keefe’s body was found. Witnesses have previously stated that police at the scene placed blood stains in the snow in red plastic cups.

Hartnett did not perform any tests on the taillight because the SUV had been towed through a snowstorm, but she did take a swab of the “outer exposed areas” of the light and sent it to another lab for DNA testing, she testified. The root end of the hair was flagged for further testing in-house, Hartnett said, while another end of the hair was earmarked for DNA testing at an outside laboratory.

She said she was asked last year to examine a sweatshirt O’Keefe was wearing.

“There were reddish-brown and brown stains on the item,” Hartnett said, with damage to the sleeves.

Hartnett said she collected swabs around the damaged areas on the right sleeve because “I was told” O’Keefe may have been bitten by a dog. The defense has alleged that a family dog ​​at the Fairview Road home may have attacked O’Keefe during a fight.

Hartnett said the swabs were sent to an outside laboratory in California; a laboratory employee stated that no dog DNA was found on the samples.


Travis Andersen can be reached at [email protected]. Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at [email protected]. follow him @jeremycfox.