Key Developments in Karen Read Trial as Trooper Testifies About Accident Data

Jun 18, 10:00 AM

The trial of Karen Read saw significant developments today as Trooper Joseph Paul provided detailed testimony regarding the vehicle data and accident reconstruction, supporting the prosecution's case that John O’Keefe was struck by Read’s Lexus. The court also navigated multiple juror-related issues, causing several recesses throughout the morning.

The day began with several sidebars involving jurors, leading to the excusal of one juror for personal reasons. The judge ordered the camera off after it inadvertently captured a juror. These disruptions were compounded by technical issues as the court worked to establish an audio feed for live-streaming.

Jessica Hyde, a cell phone expert, was among the first to testify. She clarified the timing of Jennifer McCabe’s Google searches, countering previous reports that suggested a search for “how long to die in cold” occurred at 2:27 a.m. Hyde explained that the search was in a “suspended state tab” and was accessed later, during a time when McCabe was purportedly looking up sports information.  
Following Hyde, Trooper Joseph Paul from the Massachusetts State Police Crash Reconstruction Unit took the stand. He discussed his examination of Karen Read’s Lexus, noting visible damage including scratches, a dent, a broken taillight, and glass on the bumper. Paul indicated that no data was recovered from the airbag control module, which he stated is not uncommon in pedestrian collisions.  

In a critical part of his testimony, Trooper Paul described a “triggering event” where the vehicle accelerated to 24.2 mph, with the accelerator reaching 74.5 percent. He asserted that the data from Read’s Lexus and O’Keefe’s injuries were “consistent with a pedestrian strike” and that the impact would have caused O’Keefe’s body to “rotate counter-clockwise.” 

The jury was later shown Ring camera footage depicting Read’s vehicle backing into O’Keefe’s car in the driveway. This visual evidence further supported the prosecution’s narrative.

DNA evidence was also a focal point of the day. Forensic DNA analysts from Bode Technology and the Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab testified about DNA profiles matching John O’Keefe found on tail light pieces and other items at the scene. Nicholas Bradford and Tess Chart from Bode Technology confirmed that O’Keefe’s DNA was found on the taillight fragments. Chart noted, “The hair sample was consistent with the mitochondrial DNA profile obtained from John O’Keefe.”
Defense attorney Alan Jackson questioned the validity of this evidence, suggesting it could have been planted. He challenged the timeline proposed by the prosecution, asserting that Read did not return to 34 Fairview Avenue after 5:18 a.m. as suggested.

The day concluded with the jury being sent home, and the judge providing the trial schedule for the following week. Court will resume on Monday with a full day of proceedings, voir dire on Tuesday, no trial on Wednesday due to a holiday, a full day on Thursday, and a half-day on Friday.

As the trial progresses, the testimonies of key witnesses like Trooper Paul and the presentation of forensic evidence will continue to play pivotal roles in the jury’s deliberations.
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