Karen Read Trial Update: After the Mistrial, Things Have Gone Bad to Much, Much Worse for the Cops and Local Government

I'm speaking as someone who not only took great pride in my "Hear ye, hear ye," but wore the ever living shit out of that uniform for 17 years. (Ladies: I saved one in case you're looking for someone to work your Bachelorette Party. I come out holding a cup of Dunks and with a Herald under my arm. I introduce myself with, "Did somebody say ... 'All rise'???" Then we drop the needle on The Clash's "I Fought the Law" as the dance of pure, unbridled eroticism begins. You know how to reach me.) I also spent most of my career figuring out all the angles so that I'd never appear on a TV camera if it could be avoided. But I'd have been proud to end up  in a video this well done. 

With that as preamble, it would be perfectly reasonable for you to assume that, the Karen Read homicide trial having ended in a mistrial last and the defense filing a motion to dismiss on Monday:

... that there'd be no more updates for a while. At least until we've heard from the Commonwealth regarding the allegations the jury was 12-0 in favor of acquittal on the murder charge. 

But if you did think so, it means you haven't been paying close attention to this whole sordid mess. Since it began, the Commonwealth vs. Karen Read saga has been less like a true crime docudrama than it's been one of those epics Hollywood used to make, with an all star cast of dozens and several plot threads going at once. Think the D-Day movie The Longest Day, with everyone in it from Duke Wayne to a young Sean Connery, and everyone getting their screen time.

Since that motion was filed, the focus has been all about the prosecution's witnesses and the people connected to them in that bizarre, cloistered, cliquish little enclave that is Canton, Massachusetts. Where everybody knows your name, and if you're from somewhere else, they hate the fact you came. 

The first development came shortly after the defense motion was announced. Prior to that, Mass. State Police's lead investigator Trooper Michael Proctor -  who rose to national prominence reading his own texts about how the defendant is "a cunt" with "a leaky balloon knot" that "leaks poo" and how he'd prefer that she take her own life after trying and failing to find nudes on her phone - had already been "relieved of duty." Meaning he had been assigned to what police officers who do their sworn duty with professionalism and integrity call "The Rubber Gun Club." But he was still drawing a paycheck from the same department that paid him north of $140,000 last year.

But within hours of Monday's news came the announcement those direct deposits were going to stop. For a while, anyway:


Since then, there's been collateral damage. The fallout from Proctor's testimony on the witness stand has continued to spread. 

Now, I'm going to attempt to walk you through this slowly, because it can get confusing. It certainly does to me, and I'm trying to pay attention to this more than I didn't any of the trials I was actually assigned to. This case has involved several Brians, a disproportionate number of bald guys, a preposterous amount of law enforcement officers, and more people with the last name Albert than you've ever met in your life. So here goes. 

The owner of the property at 34 Fairview Rd. where Boston Police officer was found dying in the snow was his fellow Boston PD officer Brian Albert. He of the butt dial while making sweet, sweet love to Mrs. Albert. At 2:27 in the morning, like that's how middle aged roll:

Well Brian Albert has a brother on the Canton force, Det. Kevin Albert. His name came up when Proctor was being cross examined by defense counsel trying to establish that he had a close relationship to the Albert family, should've been conflicted out of investigating the case, and used his position to cover up their alleged involvement in O'Keefe's death, and frame Karen Read. Specifically, that close relationship involved Proctor and Kevin Albert going out bar hopping, and Kev getting so drunk he lost his gun and his badge:

To be fair, Mayberry Deputy Barney Fife once misplaced the one bullet that Sheriff Andy Taylor allowed him to carry in his shirt pocket. But Barney was just nervous and squirrelly, and never one to get too much into the moonshine. And to be even fairer, at the 0:40 mark, Proctor denies that either he or Kevin were in the grip of the grape. Just, you know, sort of forgetful with their firearms and the badge that legally allows them to use it on people. But not drunk. Despite texts the next day where Kevin talks about how hungover he was and how he planned on treating himself with the old Hair o' the Dog. 

And that testimony finally cost Det. Albert. Which is to say, it caught up with him three weeks ago, but we finally found out about it:


Note that, like the initial discipline of Proctor, Kevin Albert's suspension from the Canton PD is with pay. Or what you might consider "a vacation." Except presumably, he doesn't have to use up his vacation time or personal days. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if he continues to accrue time off while he's serving his suspension. (And of course, he still has his health bennies; meaning they won't dock his pay, and they'll still pay his doc.)

As you can well imagine, this matter has been going over as well at Canton Town Meetings as it did in Amity when Chief Brody announced he was closing the beaches. And the citizenry is raising hell:

And while you might not be a fan of your fellow citizens getting unruly at what is supposed to be a civilized hearing, it's worth noting that Canton is the future home of a Paul Revere museum, since he lived there for quite a while. And that silversmithing SOB committed straight up treason against his king. So this is in keeping with the spirit of the town at least. Regardless, I like the style of this guy. Who turned ADA Adam Lally's annoying habit of asking "What if anything …" questions against the Board of Selectmen:


Well played, sir. There's hope for participatory government yet.

However, the difference between Mayberry, Amity, Colonial America and this situation, is that the others had no members of the Albert family running things. Naturally Canton does. 

Introducing Chris Albert. Or I should say, reintroducing him. He was called to the stand by the Commonwealth early on in the trial:

Generally speaking, his direct testimony impressed the people who were predisposed to believing in Karen Read's guilt. Until under cross, he had to admit - after a lot of heavy lifting by the defense attorney - that as a town Selectman, he has influence over the police department. Enough, at least in theory if you're on the pro-Karen Read side, to get them to broom a case if, say, some of your loved ones are involved in killing a guy. 

Well, at this same meeting Tuesday night, Chris Albert read a prepared statement, apologizing for … something. He wasn't specific. But it's reasonable to assume he was referring to this exchange with blogger and Father of the Canton Coverup Conspiracy Theory, Turtleboy:

Here's the statement, such as it is:


A cynical man might argue that if he was holding up a copy of today's newspaper, this could easily be an ISIS hostage video. But I am not that man. I believe in what Vincent Vega told Jules Winfield after he apologized for blowing Marvin's head off. That once a man admits he's wrong, he's immediately forgiven for all wrongdoings. Besides, as carefully written and non-specific as that statement was, it was still 100 times more contrite than Proctor's non-apology for calling the woman he was investigating "a cunt."

Speaking of which, we still haven't heard anything about the other cops Proctor was texting those things to. Including Yuri "Bukkake" Bukhenik, who "liked" the text:

Or ATF Agent Brian (among many Brians) Higgins, who had been at 34 Fairview that night. Had earlier that year exchanged flirty texts with Read. And somehow got involved in the investigation, despite having no jurisdiction.

The last we heard, he was also Rubber Gunning it on desk duty. And he destroyed his SIM card and his phone and threw them out in separate trash barrels at Otis Air Force Base on Cape Cod.

Again, like I said back toward the beginning of this post, there are a lot of characters and many plot threads going on at once. And it feels like we're still only in the early stages of where this epic tale is taking us. And once again, I find myself ending a Karen Read blog reminding you to stay tuned.