Karen Learn homicide trial Day 18: Witnesses concentrate on O’Keefe’s accidents, Learn’s blood alcohol stage


Simply over an hour after medical personnel at Good Samaritan Medical Heart pronounced John O’Keefe lifeless the morning of Jan. 29, 2022, Karen Learn had her blood drawn, with outcomes later revealing her blood alcohol content material was nicely above the authorized restrict, and estimated by a witness to be method over on the time she took her final drink on that fateful night time.

A pair of docs and a former forensic scientist on the Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab on Tuesday zeroed in on O’Keefe’s accidents and Learn’s blood alcohol stage throughout Day 18 of testimony within the homicide trial.

Medical personnel declared O’Keefe lifeless at 7:50 a.m, Dr. Justin Rice testified. That’s lower than two hours after Learn, Kerry Roberts and Jennifer McCabe discovered O’Keefe’s bloody physique coated in snow exterior of 34 Fairview Street in Canton.

Learn, 44, of Mansfield, faces costs of second-degree homicide, motorcar manslaughter and leaving the scene of a collision inflicting the dying of O’Keefe, a 16-year Boston Police officer when he died at age 46.

Learn acquired care at Good Samaritan Medical that morning after she was purchased beneath a “Section 12” order for a psychiatric analysis. Health care employees ordered her blood drawn at 9:03 a.m., Dr. Garrey Faller mentioned on the stand Tuesday. He added that the hospital doesn’t report a affected person’s blood alcohol stage for authorized functions.

Faller testified that Learn’s blood alcohol stage was 93 milligrams per deciliter. That interprets to .093 in opposition to the same old measure of grams per deciliter. The authorized restrict is .08.  Faller highlighted how the lab checks blood for glucose, sodium, potassium and chloride ranges in a affected person, and at any time when wanted, alcohol and medicines.

Nicholas Roberts, a forensic scientist on the Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab on the time, adopted Faller on the stand, testifying how he was assigned to carry out what’s known as a “serum conversion” on Learn’s blood in Might 2022.

Utilizing medical data from Good Samaritan, Roberts mentioned he performed a retrograde evaluation on Learn’s blood pattern and decided the time of her final drink at roughly 12:45 a.m. On the time, Learn’s minimal blood alcohol content material was between 0.135 and a  most of 0.292, he testified.

With legal professional Alan Jackson in California this week, protection legal professional Elizabeth Little requested the majority of the questions for Learn’s facet. First, she challenged whether or not Good Samaritan is within the “business of trying to calculate” blood alcohol content material, and Faller responded, “No, we don’t.”

Little then took exception to Robert’s testimony, questioning the “very, very large disparity” in estimated blood alcohol vary which she mentioned is “almost a 120% swing.”

“That would be the equivalent, for example, predicting a child is going to grow somewhere from 6 feet to 14 feet,” she mentioned.

”There’s a wide range … because of the elements within the calculation,” Roberts responded.

Additionally on Tuesday, testimony zeroed in on O’Keefe’s accidents.

O’Keefe arrived at Good Samaritan in Brockton at round 6:47 a.m., with a core physique temperature of 80.1 levels and in cardiac arrest, Rice testified. The intense physique temperature certified as hypothermia, and O’Keefe was unresponsive, he mentioned.

Health care employees wrapped O’Keefe in what Rice known as a “Bair Hugger” – a blanket with heat air pumped by means of it – whereas offering O’Keefe heat IV fluids to attempt to increase his temperature, Rice mentioned.

“Despite resuscitative efforts for approximately half an hour, there was not a significant warming,” Rice mentioned.

Rice additionally testified that O’Keefe had a lower on the ridge above his proper eye, and swelling and bruising of the encircling tender tissue. O’Keefe additionally had scratches on his proper forearm, he mentioned.

“In cases like this, because the attention is on resuscitation of someone’s heartbeat, their life,” Rice mentioned, “there’s less focus on injuries or observations that don’t coincide with the resuscitation effort or are not pertinent to that resuscitation effort.”

Additionally on Tuesday, prosecutor Adam Lally known as O’Keefe’s niece and nephew to the stand. A courtroom order barred the media from broadcasting and reporting on the testimonies till the youngsters completed, practically two hours later.

O’Keefe gained custody of his sister’s son and daughter after she died from most cancers and her husband died of a coronary heart assault a number of months later.

The 2 youngsters testified how O’Keefe and Learn’s relationship was “sometimes rough,” with good days blended with unhealthy, WBZ reported from contained in the courtroom. The niece described a struggle between the couple in early January 2022, with Learn refusing to depart the house after O’Keefe advised her to, the TV station reported.

O’Keefe’s niece additionally testified how Learn, the morning of Jan. 29, 2022, would inform individuals she known as that she had gotten right into a struggle with O’Keefe and questioned if she hit him, however in one other name later, she talked about no struggle however perhaps a plow hit him.

“I had never seen her like that. Frantic. Pacing around,” the lady mentioned, per WBZ.

The choice to name O’Keefe’s niece and nephew to the stand didn’t sit nicely with protection legal professional David Yannetti.

“It was desperate and inappropriate for the DA’s office to call children to try to prove a nonexistent motive that they failed to prove through their adult witnesses,” he advised reporters after exiting the courthouse Tuesday afternoon.

The trial resumes subsequent week at Norfolk County Superior Courtroom in Dedham.

Dr. Justin Rice testifies on the Karen Learn homicide Trial at Norfolk Superior Courtroom on Might 28. (Workers Photograph By Stuart Cahill/Boston Herald)

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