Julie Nagel to testify again – NBC Boston

Shocking testimony in the Karen Read trial is revealing new details from the night that Boston Police Officer John O’Keefe died. One witness claimed that they did in fact see something that night.

The witness, Julie Nagel, a friend of Caitlin Albert’s brother Brian Albert Jr., was one of four people that took the stand Tuesday. She was at Brian Albert’s home until 1:45 a.m. the day O’Keefe’s body was found out in front of lawn. 

Caitlin, daughter of Brian Albert, led off Tuesday morning, took the stand for the second day in a row. She allegedly was the last person to leave her dad’s Fairview Road home in Canton, Massachusetts, the morning of Jan. 29, 2022. O’Keefe was found dead outside that home later that morning.

The final witness of the day was Nagel, who testified that she saw a black SUV similar to the one Read drives outside the home that morning, and a “black blob” in the front yard, when she left.

Witness testimonies continued in the Karen Read murder trial Tuesday, with members of the Albert family and friends giving their accounts of what happened the night of John O’Keefe’s death.

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Read is charged with second-degree murder in the 2022 death of O’Keefe, her boyfriend. He was found in the snow outside retired Boston Police Officer Brian Albert’s home in Canton. Prosecutors say Read hit O’Keefe with her SUV, while Read says she has been framed in a wide-ranging coverup, claiming the Albert family — which includes a Canton police officer and current selectman — and the state’s lead investigator, a family friend, put the blame on Read.

Watch Karen Read trial Day 11 testimony (May 14, 2024)

Karen Read trial Day 11 | Witness testifies to seeing

Read has pleaded not guilty and is free on bond.

Brian Albert, the owner of the home where John O’Keefe was found dead outside, returned to the stand for cross-examination Monday, where the defense tried to establish that Albert knew O’Keefe better than suggested from previous testimony.

Brian and Nicole Albert took the stand on Friday. They have been the subject of intense public speculation for months — while prosecutors say Read killed her boyfriend, Boston Police Officer John O’Keefe, on their lawn on Fairview Road during a snowstorm in January 2022, Read’s lawyers have claimed there was a coverup, one that may have involved at least Brian Albert, a fellow Boston police officer.

Their testimony came as the second week of trial proceedings in Norfolk Superior Court, in Dedham, wrapped up. Brian Albert returned to the stand on Monday to be cross-examined by Read’s defense team.

Caitlin Albert returns to the stand

Caitlin Albert returned to the stand on Tuesday morning, and was grilled by defense attorney David Yannetti about her connections to Canton firefighter/paramedic Katie McLaughlin, one of the initial responders to the scene where O’Keefe was found.

Yannetti asked how well the two know each other, and Albert said they were in the same high school class and have some mutual friends.

“I went to high school with her and she’s the same age and we graduated together,” she said.

Yannetti also established that on multiple occasions since high school, the two have gone on trips and attended events together, including a baby shower in 2021, a trip to Maine and trips to the beach. He displayed several photos where Albert and McLaughlin were shown together in the same group of people. He also showed photos that confirmed that Albert and McLaughlin played on a sports team together.

“I’ve gone away on trips she was on,” Albert said. “I didn’t drive with her or go with her, but she was there.”

Albert also said one of her college roommates was also a friend of McLaughlin’s.

Yannetti also asked Albert about the night before O’Keefe’s death, talking about how her boyfriend left the Waterfall to return home to Easton because he was expecting to get up early the next morning to plow the snow that was falling. But he later returned to Canton at 1:45 a.m. to pick up Albert at her parents’ house.

Albert said when she left, she didn’t hear any noise or see anything, including O’Keefe’s body.

The last person to leave the home where Boston Police Officer John O’Keefe was found dead took the stand Tuesday in the trial of Karen Read. Caitlin Albert is Brian Albert’s daughter. He’s the man who owned the home where O’Keefe was found, and he testified Monday and last week. The defense asked Caitlin about her connections to the first responders who were on the scene.

Tristin Morris, Caitlin Albert’s boyfriend, testifies

The next person to testify on Tuesday was Tristin Morris, Caitlin Albert’s boyfriend of the past seven or eight years.

He was asked about the events of Jan. 28, 2022 and the early-morning hours of Jan. 29, 2022.

“For me it was just an ordinary day. I went out and I met (Caitlin) for a drink” at the Waterfall Bar & Grill. He said he doesn’t remember who else was there that night. He said he couldn’t recall how long he was there but “it wasn’t very long.”

He said he didn’t stay long because he was going to have to be plowing snow early the next morning and wanted to get some sleep.

“I just had to be on call for 3, 4 in the morning,” Morris said.

After he returned home to Easton, he said Caitlin Albert began calling and texting him. He couldn’t recall what time.

Based on those calls and texts, Morris said he left Easton and went back to Albert’s parents’ home in Canton, about a 20-25 minute drive.

When he arrived, he said he texted Albert and she came out of the house a short time later. He said there was no delay in them leaving, and that Albert’s mood was normal.

During cross-examination, Yannetti showed Morris a photo including him and members of the Albert and McCabe family, taken four days after Read was indicted. Yannetti asked him if the group was celebrating the indictment of Read when the photo was taken, but Morris said they were not.

Yannetti also tried to get Morris to say what time he was at the Albert’s home in Canton on Jan. 28 or Jan. 29, 2022, when he drove there to pick up his girlfriend. But he wasn’t able to recall what time it was or where he pulled into.

“Must’ve been,” Morris said when asked if it was the driveway that he pulled into.

Yannetti also pressed Morris on why he went from Canton to Easton and then back to Canton to pick up Caitlin Albert when he had to wake up as early as 3 a.m. to plow snow.

“The plan from the beginning was not for you to leave the Waterfall, go to Easton and then drive back from Easton to pick up Caitlin in Canton, correct?” Yannetti asked him.

“No, it wasn’t,” Morris replied.

“But the plan changed, correct? And that was because you heard from your girlfriend Caitlin, correct?” Yannetti asked. “For some reason, Caitlin now needed to get picked up before you went plowing, correct?”

Sarah Levinson takes the stand

The day’s third witness was Sarah Levinson, a friend of Brian Albert Jr. who was at the Albert house on the night before O’Keefe’s death. She testified that she was at the house to celebrate Albert Jr.’s birthday.

The testified about some of the other people who were at the Albert home on the evening of Jan. 28, 2022, and how Albert Jr. took a couple people upstairs to see the family dog. She said people were drinking White Claws and Trulys and eating calzones.

She said everyone was there about 2-3 hours and the mood was good.

Levinson also testified about the order that people began arriving at the house from the gathering at the Waterfall shortly after midnight.

She said she left the home between 1:30 and 2 a.m. with Nagel, her friend, and it was snowing at the time.

During cross-examination, Yannetti asked if Levinson is close friends with Brian Albert Jr. She said she was, and they even attended junior prom together. She said she is also on good terms with other members of the Albert family, including Brian Albert Jr.’s brothers and sisters, and some cousins.

She was also asked if she knows Brian Albert, and if he is “stand-offish,” as Yannetti put it.

“He’s quiet,” Levinson said.

She also testified that when she left, she didn’t remember hearing anything. She also confirmed previous testimony before a grand jury that she could see some of the pavement when she left, despite the fact that it was snowing.

Levinson said lights were on, and she had a view of the front lawn, but she did not see anything or anyone on the lawn where O’Keefe was later found.

She said she and Nagel wound up getting a ride home from the Albert home with Jennifer and Matthew McCabe.

Julie Nagel testifies

Nagel, another friend of Brian Albert Jr. who was at the Albert home on the night before O’Keefe’s death, was the next witness to testify.

She also testified about the birthday gathering, saying they were listening to music, drinking beer and seltzers and eating some food.

“It was Brian’s birthday, so you know, we were there just to have fun,” Nagel said.

She was asked about how people arrived at the home, specifically Colin Albert, Brian Albert Jr.’s cousin. She said at some point between 11:30-11:45 p.m. someone picked him up but she didn’t know who it was.

Nagel said she stayed at the house until about 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 29. She had texted her brother around 12:15 a.m. asking him to pick her up. He arrived a short time later and texted him to say that he was outside. He arrived with two other people.

She said she had looked out to the driveway at one point and saw a vehicle by the mailbox, but by the time her brother arrived that vehicle was gone.

“It was a black SUV,” she said.

Nagel said she invited her brother and his friends to come inside, but they said they just wanted to go home, so she ultimately decided to stay and arranged to get a ride home later in the evening from Jennifer and Matthew McCabe.

Prosecutors showed Nagel a photo of the outside of the Albert home, and she used a laser pointer to show the door she exited the house from to speak with her brother. She also pointed out that her brother’s truck was parked at the end of the driveway. She also pointed to three areas in front of the home where she said she had seen the black SUV before her brother arrived.

As Nagel left the home later that night in the McCabes’ vehicle, she said she noticed “something out of the ordinary… like a black blob” on the ground by the flagpole in front of the home.

“It was pretty dark out, but the snow was kinda heavy at that time,” she said. “You couldn’t really see too much.”

Using the laser pointer, she pointed to an area near the flag pole where she saw the “black blob” — around the same area where she said she had seen the black SUV at one point earlier in the evening.

“I did say out loud, ‘I think I might have saw something,’ but I was also intoxicated, drinking, so didn’t really know what it was, what I saw.”

She said the object she saw was “probably 5 or 6 feet long.”

Yannetti then cross-examined Nagel, getting her to acknowledge that she was at the Albert home for about eight hours in all.

He also pointed out that Nagel wasn’t interviewed by Massachusetts State Police Trooper Michael Proctor, the lead investigator in the Karen Read case, until eight months after O’Keefe was found dead on the Alberts’ lawn.

Yannetti also asked Nagel about her ties to the Albert family, including being a close friend of Brian Albert Jr. and having driven the McCabes’ daughter around and pet sat for their dog.

Nagel also testified that she saw Colin Albert at the Albert home that night, but wasn’t sure what time he left.

Yannetti also asked her how much she drank that night, to which she replied, “A decent amount.” She said she was drinking Michelob Ultras, but doesn’t remember if she brought them or if they were there at the house already.

He also asked Nagel about how she originally asked her brother to come pick her up, but later changed her mind and decided not to go home with him. She said when he arrived, she decided she wanted to stay at the Albert house longer.

When she eventually left the house around 1:45 a.m., Nagel said she did not see a body in the yard.

Yannetti also pointed out that the first time Nagel said that the object she saw in the snow outside the Albert home was “5 or 6 feet long” was during her testimony on Tuesday.

He also asked Nagel if she thought the object she saw in the snow was a body, and she said she did not.

“You didn’t think that this was a person who was in trouble, correct?” Yannetti asked.

“I don’t know, no,” Nagel said.

“You didn’t ask Matthew McCabe to stop? You didn’t ask him to back up?” Yannetti asked.

“No,” Nagel replied.

Yannetti pointed out that Levinson, who was in the car with her, was a nurse, and Brian Albert, the owner of the home, was a police officer and first responder. But she didn’t ask either of them.

“That’s because you did not see a body on that lawn, correct?” Yannetti said.

“I mean, I don’t know what I saw, but I saw an object,” Nagel said.

“You were drinking for hours, is that correct?” Yannetti countered. “You were intoxicated.”

“Some would say, yeah,” she said.

Yannetti then pointed out that even after Nagel found out that O’Keefe had died, she didn’t contact investigators to let them know what she had seen that night.

Court adjourned for the day around 1 p.m. with Nagel still on the stand. Tuesday was a scheduled half day. A full day of testimony is expected on Wednesday.