Karen Read Trial: Expert Presents Evidence Disputing Conspiracy Theory Used in Defense of Murder Suspect

Karen Read
Karen Read (above) in court on Monday.Court TV

Karen Read's attorneys say their client is being framed and have pointed out an Internet search they say Jennifer McCabe made prior to the discovery of Officer Jon O'Keefe's body as evidence of this cover-up. But on Monday, an expert debunked their claim.

An Internet search that had become a key part of the conspiracy theory that murder suspect Karen Read is being framed was disputed by a forensics expert in court on Monday.

The defense has argued that at 2:27 a.m. on Jan. 29, 2022, Jennifer McCabe searched on the internet for "hos [sic] long to die in the cold." Then, at 6:23 a.m., McCabe allegedly searched again for “how long ti [sic] die in clkd [sic]” followed  minute later by "hos [sic] long to di [sic] in the cold," according to court filings.

Prosecutors and McCabe said that those searches were done at Read's request when she discovered the body and that the 2:27 a.m. search was not made at that time but instead typed into a search window last used at that time.

Forensices expert Ian Whiffin (above) testifying on Monday. - Court TV

Forensics Expert Disputes Karen Read Conspiracy Theory

The defense has said Read is being framed, and in a motion seeking cell phone records allege that McCabe made the two latter searches in an "attempt to override her inculpatory search," which would have been made three hours before the body of John O'Keefe was discovered in the snow. In one motion the defense cited this search before writing that McCabe was one of the "actual perpetrators of this crime."

Police have not charged McCabe with a crime and she has never been declared a suspect or person of interest in the case. McCabe did not respond to Inside Edition Digital's requests for comment. 

On Monday afternoon, McCabe got some support for her claim when Ian Whiffin, digital forensics expert for Cellebrite, took the stand.

In testimony that streamed on CourtTV, Whiffin said that the timestamp on the search was wrong before explaining to jurors that if a Safari window is minimized and then used again hours later, the old timestamp could be attached to the search. In this case, he said McCabe had been looking at sports scores on her phone and then failed to close the Safari app, which is why her next search appeared to be done at 2:27 a.m. and not after 6 a.m.

"That's not the time in my opinion that the search was conducted," testified Whiffin. He also said that he found no evidence that "tampering occurred" on McCabe's cell phone as it related to her Internet usage and search history.

Jennifer McCabe (above) testifying in court on May 17. - CourtTV

Jennifer McCabe Testimony

McCabe was a close friend of O'Keefe's and one of the prosecution's star witnesses.

She testified in the case last month, saying she saw a black SUV,  which looked similar to Read's vehicle, arrive at the home of Brian Albert in the early morning hours of Jan. 29, 2022.

McCabe also testified about and provided investigators with her text messages from that morning, which show that she texted O'Keefe "Hello" from her cell phone and then told him where to park his vehicle. She said on the stand that she then watched as the SUV moved from its initial spot on the street to the left side of the property, where O’Keefe’s body was subsequently discovered later that morning.

O'Keefe never entered the residence, McCabe testified. She said that approximately 15 minutes after arriving, the SUV drove off. Four hours later, McCabe said she received a call from O'Keefe's niece looking for her uncle, who assumed guardianship of his niece and nephew after the death of their parents.

O'Keefe's niece said in an interview with a child advocate that she called McCabe at the behest of Read, who allegedly woke her up in the middle of the night while "screaming and acting frantic," according to the statement.

In her interview with Norfolk Advocates for Children, the niece "indicated ... that the defendant changed her story several times while speaking to Ms. McCabe on the phone, with initially the defendant stating that she and the victim got into an argument and she dropped him off," said the statement.

Read and McCabe then met and with another friend, Kerry Roberts, went looking for O'Keefe. 

McCabe testified that while driving that morning, Read repeatedly said, "Could I have hit him” and “Did I hit him" while also speaking about a broken tail light on her car. Roberts testified that Read called her that morning and said: "John’s dead. Kerry, Kerry, I wonder if he’s dead. It's snowing, he got hit by a plow.”

McCabe and Roberts both testified that they arrived at the home of Brian Albert as a brutal snowstorm raged, with the combination of wind and snow limiting visibility. Both women testified that despite these conditions, Read almost immediately announced that she had spotted O'Keefe's body when they arrived at the Albert property.

O'Keefe's body was covered in six inches of snow, first responders and officers testified during the trial.

Those emergency responders attempted to revive O'Keefe after arriving on the scene, taking over from Read. He was eventually transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after 7 a.m., according to witness testimony.

Victim John O'Keefe with the niece and nephew he had been raising since 2014 (above). - GoFundMe

Karen Read Timeline of Events

At least three people on the scene that morning, in addition to McCabe and Roberts, testified that Read brought up the possibility that she had hit O'Keefe with her car.

Read, an equity analyst and college professor at Bentley University,  is charged in Norfolk County Superior Court with second-degree murder, manslaughter while operating under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of personal injury and death.

She has pleaded not guilty to all charges and maintained her innocence ever since the day a grand jury first indicted her on these charges.

O'Keefe, an officer with the Boston Police Department, is survived by his mother, sister, and the nieve and nephew he had been raising since the death of their parents in 2014.

The trial has divided the the small town of Canton, located approximately 20 miles south of Boston, with supporters of Read organizing daily protests outside the court


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