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DEDHAM, MASS. (WHDH) - Opening statements wrapped up late Monday morning and jurors heard from their first witnesses as the high-profile murder trial of Karen Read got underway. 

The prosecution called three witnesses before court adjourned for the day. After declining to cross examine the first two witnesses, defense attorneys are set to begin cross examination of Canton Police Officer Steve Saraf when trial proceedings resume on Tuesday.

Read, 44, of Mansfield, has pleaded not guilty to several charges including second degree murder in connection with the death of her boyfriend, 46-year-old John O’Keefe, in January 2022.

Prosecutors have alleged Read killed O’Keefe, a Boston police officer, by hitting him with her car during an argument and leaving him to die in a snowbank outside the home of a fellow Boston police officer in Canton.

Read’s defense has said she is being framed, asserting O’Keefe was beaten inside the home of the fellow officer before being left outside. The defense has said a law enforcement cover up ensued involving numerous individuals and agencies. 

After years of pretrial proceedings, Read’s jury selection began last week in Norfolk Superior Court. 

In a change on Friday, Judge Beverly Cannone opted to move the case to a smaller courtroom after the defense complained some jurors were seated behind the witness box and would not be able to read witnesses’ demeanor during testimony. 

As both sides lay out their cases, Cannone will allow O’Keefe’s family to testify that he and Read had relationship troubles. 

Cannone also indicated testimony regarding Read’s blood alcohol level after the alleged murder will probably be allowed. 

On the defense side, Cannone will allow Read’s team to argue someone else killed O’Keefe, though the defense was barred from using the “third party culprit” argument in opening statements. 

No demonstrators will be allowed within 200 feet of Norfolk Superior Court during Read’s trial, following an order from Cannone.

Read arrived at the courthouse near 9:15 a.m. Monday morning, climbing the courthouse steps with her attorneys, media personnel and trial-watchers. 

Cannone entered the courtroom near 10 a.m. and delivered preliminary instructions to the assembled jury.

Assistant District Attorney Adam Lally began the prosecution’s opening statement moments after 10:30 a.m. Among remarks, he said jurors will hear testimony from first responders on the scene as well as testimony from from O’Keefe’s family and friends. Lally said jurors will also see surveillance video and receipts tracing Read and O’Keefe’s movements on the night O’Keefe died.

“You are the sole arbiters of the facts of this case,” Lally told the jury.

Attorney David Yannetti kicked off the defense’s opening statement near 11:15 a.m., immediately saying “Karen Read was framed.” Yannetti cited what the defense believes are multiple conflicts of interest throughout the Read investigation. He alleged the investigation was tainted by cover-ups at the hands of biased investigators and said the defense has obtained text messages, surveillance video and other evidence to prove its allegations.

“[Read’s] car never struck John O’Keefe,” Yannetti said. “She did not cause his death. And that means that somebody else did.”

Jurors received a 15 minute recess following opening statements while judges and lawyers met at sidebar.

Paul O’Keefe took the stand as the first witness in the case near 12:15 p.m. The younger brother of John O’Keefe, Paul spoke about his brother caring for his sister’s children after she died of cancer in 2013.

Paul said his brother and Read would have arguments. He says his brother did not talk too much about the arguments but said alcohol would be involved, with both Read and his brother drinking. Paul said the fights were verbal — not physical.

Paul O’Keefe’s wife, Erin, took the stand early Monday afternoon as the case’s second witness. Erin covered much of the same ground her husband Paul did, answering questions about the John O’Keefe becoming a guardian of his young niece and nephew.

Paul testified Read and John O’Keefe briefly dated in 2004 but then rekindled their relationship in March, 2020 at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like Paul, Erin said she liked Karen and they talked often.

Erin described Read as a friend, further detailing one interaction where she said Read texted her to say she caught John kissing someone in a hotel lobby while on vacation in Aruba. The incident led to an argument, Erin said, roughly one month before O’Keefe died.

Saraf, the Canton police officer, took the stand as the case’s third witness Monday afternoon. Saraf was working overnights the day of the alleged murder.

Among his comments, Saraf said he arrived on the scene and found Read with blood on her face, seemingly from trying to perform CPR. Saraf said Read was screaming “This is all my fault.”

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

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