Legal expert says both sides could change approach in potential second Karen Read trial – Boston News, Weather, Sports

Legal expert says both sides could change approach in potential second Karen Read trial – Boston News, Weather, Sports

DEDHAM, MASS. (WHDH) – In Commonwealth v. Karen Read, both sides will have to start over after Judge Beverly Cannone declared a mistrial last week in Read’s first trial.

With a new trial set to take place soon, 7NEWS spoke to legal expert Tom Hoopes, who said prosecutor Adam Lally should trim his witness list.

“There are far fewer witnesses and don’t call those who hurt you unless it’s absolutely necessary,” he said.

Hoopes, a veteran criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor, said he wouldn’t be surprised if recently suspended State Trooper Michael Proctor, whose vulgar text messages were helpful to the defense, were removed from the Commonwealth’s witness list.

If Proctor does not testify for the prosecution, the defense can still call him as a witness.

“Are you better off picking him up there and letting them tear him apart, or are you better off letting them pick him up there and let them rehabilitate him?” Hoopes said. “That’s a judgment call for them.”

Even less controversial witnesses could disappear, such as the officer who worked on the reconstruction of the crash that prosecutors say killed Read’s friend, Boston police officer John O’Keefe.

According to court observers, Officer Joe Paul appeared nervous and uncertain as he testified.

Hoopes said Lally could easily bring in another accident reconstruction expert.

Prosecutors in Read’s first trial said she hit O’Keefe with her SUV and left him for dead in front of Brian and Nicole Albert’s Canton home.

The defense alleged that Read had been framed and claimed that O’Keefe had in fact died after a fight at Albert’s home.

While some may consider a second-degree murder charge far-fetched, Hoopes believes the charge will hold up in a new trial because O’Keefe was a respected police officer.

Hoopes said he is confident that Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey does not want to offend the law enforcement community.

“Politically, there’s a lot of pressure from other law enforcement when it comes to the death of a police officer,” he said. “And they’re going to treat it as a second-degree crime every time.”

As for the defense, it is impossible, but unlikely, that attorneys would make a major change in strategy and possibly have Read testify in the second trial.

Read had previously said she was willing to testify but would leave the decision to her lawyers.

If she actually testifies, she will face a devastating cross-examination.

“I can’t imagine the defense is going to do any better than it has,” Hoopes said. “They’ve done a really good job.”

Read is due to appear in court again on July 22.

As the trial approaches, her defense team filed a motion on Monday asking Cannone to drop two of the charges against Read, including second-degree murder.

Cannone had not yet made a statement on the motion by Tuesday afternoon.

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