ATF Agent Testifies In Karen Read Murder Trial

BOSTON - JANUARY 19: Boston Police officers Dennis Murphy (L) and Billy Cloran (R) patrol outside the South Station train station during an alert for a possible terror threat January 19, 2005 in Boston, Massachusetts. Federal agents have told local Massachusetts authorities that four people wanted for questioning in connection with a possible terrorist threat may have illegally entered the U.S. from Mexico, headed for Boston. (Photo by Jodi Hilton/Getty Images)
Boston Police officers on January 19, 2005 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jodi Hilton/Getty Images)

OAN’s Taylor Tinsley
2:15 PM – Saturday, May 25, 2024

An ATF agent took the stand to testify in the high-profile trial for a woman accused of killing her Boston police officer boyfriend. 


Brian Higgins took the stand in a Massachusetts court on Friday. 

Prosecutors asked him to read aloud romantic text messages with Karen Read, who is accused of killing her Boston police officer boyfriend, John O’Keefe. 

O’Keefe was found dead outside of a Canton home in January 2022. Prosecutors say Read, 44, hit O’Keefe with her SUV following a night of drinking and left him for dead during a snowstorm.

She has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, along with other charges. The defense is trying to argue that someone else is responsible for O’Keefe’s death.

ATF agent Brian Higgins is one of the three men defense lawyers have implicated in the murder. 

He was at the after party located at the home O’Keefe was found outside, owned by retired Boston police officer Brian Albert.

Defense attorneys claim O’Keefe was beaten inside the home, bitten by a dog, and left outside, arguing Read is the victim of a cover up.

Colin Albert, Brian Albert’s nephew, is the defense’s third culprit. Attorneys said Higgins had a romantic interest in Read and asked him to read out flirtatious text messages the two had shared a few weeks before O’Keefe’s death. 

“I am not proud of these text messages,” Higgins told the court. “It is what it is. I take responsibility for them. John was a friend at the same time.”

“You’re hot,” Read tells Higgins in one of the texts 

“Are you serious or messing with me?” Higgins replies.

He said Read got his number and initiated the texts on January 12th and continued through the 28th

“The 28th she didn’t respond. On the 29th she sent that last text that John died,” Higgins said.

Higgins told the court that he was trying to figure out Read’s intentions.

“During the pendency of this communication I was basically trying to suss out what the intentions were of the defendant,” Higgins said. “Was the defendant interested in me? Was she at the end of her relationship with John? Was she trying to weaponize me against John and put me in the middle. There were numerous things going on… If they were at the end of their relationship, they were at the end of their relationship. But I was not going to have someone utilize me, weaponize me against someone I liked.”

The court is set to reconvene for testimony on Tuesday. 

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