Caitlin Albert returns to the stand

Day 11 of testimony in the Karen Read murder trial has started with the jury continuing to hear from Caitlin Albert, the daughter of Nicole and Brian Albert, who owned the home where John O’Keefe would be killed.

The Alberts are central to the defense’s theory of an alleged coverup.

The defense has questioned the relationship between Caitlin Albert and Canton Fire paramedic Katie McLaughlin, who testified earlier this month that she heard Read say “I hit him” repeatedly while pacing O’Keefe’s body at the scene.

Read, 44, of Mansfield, faces charges of second-degree murder, motor vehicle manslaughter and leaving the scene of a collision causing the death of O’Keefe, a 16-year Boston Police officer and her boyfriend of about two years when he died at age 46.

Prosecutors allege Read struck O’Keefe with her Lexus SUV by throwing the car into reverse and striking him at 24.2 mph and leaving him to die in the cold on the front lawn of the Canton home.

The defense says that local and state police and prosecutors have conducted a massive frame-up job. They say his injuries don’t match being struck by a car and that he was allegedly beaten inside the home and then laid out on the lawn.

Caitlin Albert’s father, Brian Albert, who finished testimony on Monday, is one of the three people who defense attorney David Yannetti in a pre-trial hearing identified as being in 34 Fairview Road — the house the Alberts owned — when he alleges O’Keefe was onsite and had motive and opportunity to kill him.

Brian Albert is a recently retired Boston Police sergeant, last assigned to the department’s fugitive unit. He testified that he had met O’Keefe a few times before he died and that he “considered him a co-worker, even though we never worked together.”

Albert stood by his statement from last week: “John never came into my house that night.”

Caitlin Albert, following testimony from her father and brother, Brian Albert Jr., testified she did not know Read and O’Keefe and reported there was no tension at the Waterfall, a Canton bar where they all gathered before an afterparty at the Alberts.

In response to a question Monday from Yannetti on her relationship with Katie McLaughlin, Caitlin Albert said they are the same age and went to the same high school and graduated the same year, 2014.

“We interact with some of the same people socially,” Albert said. “I can’t think of a time where (she) and I hung out one-on-one … More like a friend of a mutual friend. … I would not consider her, again, one of my close friends.”

Fireworks arose during the defense’s cross-examination of McLaughlin earlier this month.

McLaughlin told defense attorney Alan Jackson that Read said the incriminating words – “I hit him” – while facing another civilian woman, Kerry Roberts, and in the presence of a police officer.

“Are you aware that the female standing to your left (Roberts) reported that same exact statement as ‘Did I hit him? Could I have hit him?’” Jackson asked toward the beginning of the cross examination so far in the trial.

After false starts through objections, the jury was removed from the courtroom for both Jackson and prosecutor Adam Lally to question McLaughlin about her relationship with Caitlin Albert.

Jackson asked many of the questions once again when the jury was brought back in, though the photographs of McLaughlin and Caitlin Albert together — and a screenshot of McLaughlin’s presence on Caitlin Albert’s social media friends list — were not allowed to be published to the jury.

Jackson argued the photos should be admitted because McLaughlin’s description of the pair’s relationship was a “bastardization of the truth.”

On Monday, Caitlin Albert said, as others have testified before her, that she was the last to leave 34 Fairview Road, putting her departure at sometime around 2 a.m.

She also testified that the primary State Police investigator, Trooper Michael Proctor, didn’t interview her until 18 months after the incident.


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