DEDHAM, MASS. (WHDH) - Testimony continued in the Karen Read murder trial Tuesday, with the defense continuing cross examination of federal agent Brian Higgins and the prosecution calling seven new witnesses.

John O’Keefe’s niece and nephew testified after Higgins. Jurors then heard testimony from doctors and a former state police crime lab worker who treated O’Keefe and evaluated Read on the morning of Jan. 29, 2022.

Canton’s DPW superintendent and information systems manager also testified before court proceedings ended for the day.

Read is facing second degree murder charges after prosecutors said she hit her boyfriend, Boston Police Officer John O’Keefe, with her SUV and left him to die in a snowbank outside the Canton home of Brian and Nicole Albert. 

Read’s defense has said she is being framed, saying O’Keefe was instead beaten to death during a party inside the Albert home. 

Higgins, an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and a friend of Brian Albert, is one of several people the defense has tried to implicate in O’Keefe’s death.

Higgins finishes cross examination

In testimony on Friday, Higgins told the jury he exchanged dozens of text messages with Read in the weeks before her boyfriend’s death. Jurors saw some flirty messages during Higgins’ testimony. In one instance, Higgins said, Read kissed him.

Come Tuesday, Higgins faced new questions from the defense and explained his decision to dispose of his phone after O’Keefe died.

Higgins said he may have destroyed his phone’s sim card, saying he put it in a trash bag.

As questioning continued, Yannetti asked Higgins about going to a military base to dispose of the phone.

“I was cutting through a military base,” Higgins said, adding that he believes he deposited the trash bag with the sim card in a dumpster.

Yannetti continued questioning Higgins, at one point getting him to agree that destroying his phone and its sim card destroyed text messages he exchanged with the Alberts.

Higgins said he was working undercover at the time and discovered his phone number was available on the “open source” internet. Separate from the Read case, Higgins said, an investigation target had his personal cell phone number. He said there was reason to be concerned and he wanted a new number.

On redirect questioning with Assistant District Attorney Adam Lally, Higgins said he never saw anything in Brian Albert’s yard after leaving the party at his house on the morning of Jan. 29, 2022. He continued, saying he spent a considerable part of his life working as a firefighter, as a medic and serving in other first responder roles.

“If I had seen John O’Keefe on the side of the road, I would have done something to make a difference,” he said.

As Higgins faced more cross examination after Lally’s redirect, Yannetti asked Higgins, “Are you familiar with the term consciousness of guilt?”

The question prompted an objection which Judge Beverly Cannone sustained.

Higgins soon finished his testimony and quickly left the courtroom.

O’Keefe’s niece and nephew testifies

O’Keefe’s niece and nephew testified after Higgins.

O’Keefe had been caring for the children after their parents died.

On the stand, both children testified about a deteriorating relationship between O’Keefe and Read, saying O’Keefe had asked Read to leave the house.

A court order earlier this month barred news outlets from video recording the children’s testimony and said the children should not be identified.

Continuing in their testimony, the children said they heard frequent fights between Read and O’Keefe, who they called JJ.

The children referred to Read, who they said could be nice to them at times and mad at them at other times, simply as “the defendant.”

“It was good at the beginning, but it was bad at the end,” the niece said, referring to Read and O’Keefe’s relationship.

Among arguments, both the niece and the nephew said they heard an argument over a perceived kiss between O’Keefe and another woman during a vacation in Aruba weeks before O’Keefe died. The argument had already been the subject of testimony from multiple witnesses in the Read trial.

When O’Keefe was missing on the morning of Jan. 29, 2022, the niece said, Read woke her up. The niece said she heard Read on the phone calling people. Early on, she said, Read said she and O’Keefe argued the previous evening. The niece said Read also asked “What if I hit him?” though she said Read’s phrasing changed in later conversations.

The niece said she had Jennifer McCabe’s number in her phone and called her before handing the phone to Read. She said she also tried to text O’Keefe, with no response.

McCabe, a friend of Read’s, previously described her end of the initial call with Read while she was on the witness stand.

After Yannetti lightly cross examined both children, one of O’Keefe’s family members expressed relief to 7’s Jonathan Hall that their time on the stand was over.

Doctors describe efforts to save O’Keefe, evaluate Read

Next to testify Tuesday was Dr. Justin Rice, who served as the emergency room doctor on duty at Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton on the morning of Jan. 29, 2022.

Rice treated O’Keefe, saying O’Keefe’s body temperature when he arrived at Good Samaritan was 80 degrees, roughly 18 degrees below a normal body temperature.

Rice said efforts to resuscitate O’Keefe were unsuccessful and, after between 20 and 30 minutes, he was declared dead.

In addition to O’Keefe, Rice said he also treated Read after she was rushed to Good Samaritan for a psychiatric evaluation.

Rice was followed on the witness stand by Dr. Garrey Fuller, a pathologist at Good Samaritan.

In his testimony, Fuller said a blood test found alcohol in Read’s system at a level of 93 milligrams per decimeter near 9 a.m.

Nicholas Roberts, a former Massachusetts State Police crime lab worker, told jurors he did a calculation to estimate Read’s blood alcohol content based off her blood test measurement and came up with an estimate of a BAC between .078 and .083. Such a measurement put Read directly at the legal limit to drive at about 9:10 a.m. on the morning of Jan. 29.

Near 12:45 a.m., when prosecutors said a drunk and enraged Read rammed into O’Keefe with her SUV, Roberts said Read’s BAC could have been anywhere from .135 to .292.

Canton DPW superintendent, information systems manager testify

Canton DPW Superintendent Michael Trotta testified next in the Read trial, answering questions from the prosecution about how Canton handles plow routes in a snowstorm like the one that happened on Jan. 29, when O’Keefe died.

Canton Information Systems Manager Louis Jutras testified after Trotta, discussing security camera footage captured at an intersection near Canton Town Hall.

The jury saw a handful of brief clips from the camera.

The defense claimed there is missing footage that could have shown Read’s vehicle passing with or without a broke tail light.

Asked if he deleted any footage, Jutras said “no,” saying he just turned the video over to the police.

The defense implied police deleted footage which would have exonerated Read.

Jutras testified the camera is motion activated.

Court proceedings soon ended for the day.

This is a developing story; stay with 7NEWS on-air and online for the latest updates.

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