Karen Read

DNA experts follow state police supervisor in Karen Read trial

Detective Lt. Brian Tully was cross-examined by Read's defense team Thursday

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The Karen Read murder trial moved past its explosive police testimony Thursday, as DNA experts replaced state police investigators on the stand.

Detective Lt. Brian Tully, a lieutenant with state police since 2021 and deployed in the Norfolk District Attorney's Office for 12 years, was cross-examined Thursday for about an hour by Read's defense team. Afterward



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Tully supervised the state police detectives assigned to the Norfolk District Attorney's Office, where Massachusetts State Police Trooper Michael Proctor worked. As the lead investigator in this case, Proctor's text messages have become an unusual focus of his testimony, and his testimony Monday and Wednesday shocked viewers.

DNA evidence and phone records were the main focus of testimony in the Karen Read trial Thursday, and while it may not have been as fiery as what we've heard from other witnesses, it could be a decisive factor in the case. Follow NBC10 Boston on... Instagram: instagram.com/nbc10boston TikTok: tiktok.com/@nbc10boston Facebook: facebook.com/NBC10Boston X: twitter.com/NBC10Boston

From declaring almost from the start of the investigation over text that homeowner and fellow cop Brian Albert "didn't do anything wrong" without going in his home – to saying about defendant Read that they're "going to lock this whack job up" and that "hopefully she kills herself" – Proctor has been under fire.

His personal text messages to his friends, colleagues and supervisors have seemed to even overshadow the evidence in this case, calling into question whether his personal opinions had any bearing on the integrity of his investigation into Boston Police Officer John O'Keefe's death.

Defense attorney Alan Jackson hammering home that point as he wrapped up his cross examination of Proctor on Wednesday.

"(Expletive) That was the word, figure of speech you used, right?" Jackson asked.

"Correct," responded Proctor.

"A girl who (expletive) herself, right?" Jackson said.

"Correct," Proctor said.

 "And then (expletive) her. Correct?" Jackson asked.

"Correct," Proctor replied.

"To pin it on the girl, who's just a whack job (expletive) you hope just kills herself, right?" said Jackson. "Shame on you, sir."

Cross-examination of Michael Proctor, who led the investigation into John O'Keefe's death and acknowledged texting his sister that he hoped Karen Read would "kill herself," wrapped up Wednesday.

Detective Lt. Brian Tully explains why investigators didn't search Albert home

Tully continued his testimony Thursday, explaining that they never searched the residence at 34 Fairview Road because they didn't believe there would be any evidence inside pertaining to the O'Keefe investigation.

He said he didn't have any evidence or probable cause to search the home, especially since he did not believe that O'Keefe had ever entered the home.

"I have evidence that he was outside, but I don't have anything putting him inside the residence," Tully said.

Assistant District Attorney Adam Lally queried Tully on a series of surveillance videos obtained form the Canton Public Library and the Temple Beth David. One of those videos shows a black SUV similar to the one driven by Read going by the temple on Washington Street at 12:17 a.m. on Jan. 29, 2022.

Another video from 5:11 a.m. showed the ground was now covered in snow. Again, a black SUV can be seen driving south on Washington Street from the general area of O'Keefe's house in the direction of the Waterfall Bar & Grill. Around 5:15 a.m., the same black SUV can be seen driving back in the opposite direction, north on Washington Street.

In both videos Tully said the black SUV was consistent with Read's vehicle.

Another video showed what appeared to be the same SUV traveling from the area where the Waterfall Bar and Grill is located toward the area of 34 Fairview Road.

Tully also testified about data retrieved from Karen Read's cell phone. Lally displayed a series of maps created by Tully showing Read's cell phone pinging various cell towers between midnight and 7 a.m. on Jan. 29, 2022, the day O'Keefe's body was found at 34 Fairview Road.

The detective said the cell phone data essentially corroborated Read's location and path of travel, as described by Read and other witnesses in the case.

Lally finished his questioning of Tully around 9:30 a.m., and defense attorney Alan Jackson began his cross examination.

Jackson started by asking Tully why investigators never entered the Albert house after O'Keefe's body was found outside the home on their lawn. As he told Lally, Tully said he would have needed a search warrant, and didn't think one was warranted in this case.

He also asked about the video of Read's SUV inside the Canton Police Department sallyport, which drew attention from the defense earlier in the trial because the video entered into evidence by the prosecution appeared to be a mirror image of the actual surveillance video.

Jackson also asked Tully about the process of collecting evidence at the scene where O'Keefe was found, including multiple pieces of clear plastic. He also asked about Tully's earlier testimony about the cellphone location data.

Tully was dismissed shortly before 12:30 p.m. Thursday.

Needham Police Sgt. Brian Gallerani testifies

Shortly before 12:30 p.m., Needham Police Sgt. Brian Gallerani took the stand. Prior to being promoted to sergeant, he had worked as a detective for the Needham Police Department and is certified in collecting cheek swabs for DNA analysis.

He testified that he collected swabs on Jan. 16, 2024, in connection with the O'Keefe case. He said he went to the Norfolk District Attorney's Office and collected samples from state police Sgt. Yuriy Bukhenik and trooper Michael Proctor.

The defense had no questions and Gallerani was dismissed after only a few minutes of testimony.

DNA analysts testify

The third witness of the day was DNA analyst Nicholas Bradford with Bode Technology.

He testified that in January of 2024, he was tasked with analyzing a number of items he had received from Massachusetts. The items included an apparent hair labeled as "passenger side tail ight," an extract from a taillight from a vehicle and two reference samples from two troopers from the Massachusetts State Police -- Bukhenik and Proctor.

He said he was also provided with a profile of O'Keefe's DNA by Massachusetts State Police for comparison purposes.

Bradford said the tests on the taillight showed strong support for inclusion of O'Keefe's DNA and strong support for exclusion of Bukhenik and Proctor's DNA samples.

Lally then asked Bradford about the hair, and went over how DNA is extracted from the hair and tested. He said the hair was tested by another analyst, however, because he was not trained in that specific test.

The defense team had no questions for Bradford, and court took a recess shortly before 1 p.m. for lunch.

The first witness after the lunch break was DNA analyst Tess Chart, also with Bode Technology.

She testified that hair she analyzed from the scene was consistent with O'Keefe's DNA.

The defense team had no questions for Chart either.

Next on the stand was Andre Porto, of the Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab, who also analyzed hair from the taillight and other evidence.

Much of the evidence he analyzed, including a piece of broken drinking glass found on the back bumper of Read's SUV and a stain from O'Keefe's jeans, matched O'Keefe's DNA profile, Porto testified.

There was other DNA evidence that was analyzed at Porto's lab but which couldn't generate a profile, the technician testified.

Again, the defense had no questions for the expert.

After Porto was dismissed, Judge Beverly Cannone ended the day in court, telling the jurors that they were on schedule and that they could enjoy the beautiful weather.

Friday is another full of testimony day in Norfolk Superior Court.

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