Karen Read Murder Trial: Cop Forced To Read His Vulgar Texts About Her In Explosive Testimony

State Police Trooper Michael Proctor, the lead investigator in the case, was instructed Monday to read the messages he exchanged with friends, relatives and co-workers about Karen Read, 45, who is charged with second-degree murder, vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and leaving the scene of a collision in the Jan. 29, 2022, death of John O’Keefe, 46. Proctor’s testimony concluded on Wednesday, and the trial then turned to Massachusetts State Police Lt. Brian Tully.

Read has pleaded not guilty to all the charges and said in interviews that she does not recall what happened while she was behind the wheel.

Proctor’s testimony had been much anticipated by her vocal defenders. Many of them, loosely organized under the hashtag #FreeKarenRead, claim she is the victim of a vast conspiracy among corrupt state and local law enforcement officials who they say are trying to frame her for killing O’Keefe — a theory embraced by her defense team. Meanwhile, prosecutors have pushed back against the “false narratives” that they say have resulted in the harassment and intimidation of witnesses by Read’s defenders, who include a controversial local blogger who is now himself facing criminal charges.

Karen Read reacts as trooper Michael Proctor testifies during her trial on Wednesday, in Norfolk Super Court in Dedham, Massachusetts. Read is charged with second-degree murder in the 2022 death of her police officer boyfriend, John O’Keefe.
Karen Read reacts as trooper Michael Proctor testifies during her trial on Wednesday, in Norfolk Super Court in Dedham, Massachusetts. Read is charged with second-degree murder in the 2022 death of her police officer boyfriend, John O’Keefe.

Read’s supporters believe instead of being hit by her SUV, O’Keefe was attacked by a dog and brutally beaten at a house party in the Boston suburb of Canton. The homeowner, Brian Albert, is also a police officer, and Read’s defense team has argued that Proctor mishandled the investigation, and favorably treated Albert and his family because they are friends.

Proctor is the subject of a police internal affairs investigation for a potential violation of department policy, which sources told NBC10 Boston is connected to the Read case.

Proctor testified about another point of contention between prosecutors and Read’s defense team: a broken taillight. He said he noticed the right taillight on her Lexus SUV was cracked when he arrived at her parents’ home after O’Keefe’s death. From an evidence bag, he removed plastic fragments collected near where O’Keefe was found and showed them to the jury. Prosecutors say the fragments match Read’s broken taillight.

Read’s attorneys, however, argued that Read damaged the taillight when she backed out of O’Keefe’s garage and struck his car.

Later in his testimony, Proctor was instructed to read aloud the texts he sent to friends, relatives and co-workers in group chats following O’Keefe’s death.

In one group chat with friends, Proctor called Read a “whack job,” and a “nutbag.”

He also used a disparaging word for a woman, which he spelled out in court rather than saying the word.

In response to an objection by Read’s attorney, the judge asked, “These are your words, Trooper Proctor?” When he said yes, she instructed him to pronounce the word, “c**t.”

Massachusetts State Trooper Michael Proctor testifies during Karen Read's trial on Wednesday.
Massachusetts State Trooper Michael Proctor testifies during Karen Read’s trial on Wednesday.

Greg Derr/The Patriot Ledger via AP, Pool

In other group text messages, Proctor used a slur for those with intellectual disabilities in referring to Read and her defense attorney David Yannetti, adding how much he hated them.

“Hopefully she kills herself,” Proctor told his sister about Read.

He also called Read a “babe” and joked about her body.

While he was searching Read’s phone as part of the investigation, Proctor texted his friends, “no nudes so far.”

Proctor also called Read an “ass leaker” and said “she’s got a leaky balloon knot,” which he confirmed referred to one of her health conditions, which include colitis and multiple sclerosis.

During cross-examination Wednesday, Proctor said it was a “disgusting comment.”

On Monday, he called his texts “unprofessional and regrettable,” and said he regrets writing them.

But Proctor denied the defense attorney’s argument that the text messages show that he was biased in the investigation.

“These unprofessional comments have zero impact on the facts and the evidence and the integrity of this investigation,” Proctor said.

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