Karen Learn homicide trial Week 4 recap: ‘Hos long to die in cold,’ Aruba incident, Brian Higgins texts


The fourth week of the Karen Learn homicide trial was one rooted within the examination of telephone communications: a Google seek for “hos long to die in cold” and 9 days — and 56 pages price — of flirtatious texts between Learn and a federal agent.

The density of witnesses has declined because the case strikes from O’Keefe’s final evening out at two Canton bars after which the snowy scene of first responders to his physique within the yard of 34 Fairview Street in Canton at round 6 a.m. on Jan. 29, 2022, towards fewer witnesses however a deeper take a look at potential motive and alleged conspiracy.

The week started with the persevering with cross-examination of Jennifer McCabe, who as a key witness sat for testimony on three consecutive trial days. She’s the sister of Nicole Albert, who together with husband Brian Albert owned the Fairview Street dwelling the place O’Keefe’s life would finish.

Learn, 44, of Mansfield, faces expenses of second-degree homicide, motorized vehicle manslaughter and leaving the scene of a collision inflicting the dying of O’Keefe, a 16-year Boston Police officer and her boyfriend of about two years when he died at age 46. Prosecutors say that after an evening out ingesting the pair argued and he or she killed him by backing her Lexus SUV into him, leaving him there in a snowstorm.

The search

The protection has its personal idea of the case: that somebody or a number of individuals inside that dwelling beat O’Keefe to dying after which framed Learn for the homicide. A search McCabe made on her telephone is central to that idea.

The question at query is “Hos long to die in cold,” which McCabe stated was misspelled as a result of it was laborious to sort as her arms have been freezing and since she has a number of sclerosis.

McCabe testified on Wednesday that she made the search at 6:24 a.m. on the behest of Learn as the 2 girls, together with Kerry Roberts — who additionally took the stand final week — surrounded O’Keefe’s physique as paramedics did their work.

However protection lawyer Alan Jackson offered a telephone evaluation that exhibits the search was made at 2:27 a.m., hours earlier than O’Keefe’s physique can be discovered. He alleges that McCabe already knew O’Keefe was useless outdoors when she made the search and that she’s a part of the cover-up and had tried to delete that preliminary search from her dwelling.

“I did not delete that search,” McCabe stated. “I did not make that search at 2:27 a.m. I would not have left John O’Keefe outside to die in the cold because he is my friend, who I love.”

She defined that as she lay in mattress after the social gathering at 34 Fairview Street, she opened her telephone to take a look at the sports activities protection of the sport her daughter had performed within the prior night. She stated that she will need to have used the identical browser window to carry out the search hours later and that’s why the evaluation exhibits the two:27 a.m. time.

As authorized analysts informed the Herald for an examination of forensic proof, attending to the reality of the search time will rely on skilled testimony on telephone evaluation that’s but to come back. Either side embody forensic specialists on their witness lists.

The Aruba incident

O’Keefe and Learn have been a part of a roughly week-long New Yr’s journey to Aruba by which dozens have been invited by Laura Sullivan, who testified Wednesday she was a long-time shut buddy to O’Keefe. She plans the journey yearly, she stated, although this was the primary for O’Keefe and Learn.

It was additionally the primary time Laura’s sister Marietta Sullivan got here alongside, she testified. And it’s what she did or didn’t do this triggered fairly a little bit of strife on the island.

Learn, each sisters testified, accused O’Keefe of “making out” with Marietta Sullivan and triggered an enormous scene.

Marietta Sullivan stated she informed her sister, “Absolutely not,” when requested if she had made out with O’Keefe. She stated she considers him “an older brother.”

The flirty texts and dissatisfaction

Whereas Laura Sullivan testified that Learn appeared contrite over her freak-out, texts Learn despatched to ATF Agent Brian Higgins present she was nonetheless sore.

Higgins’ testimony superior the prosecution’s idea that Learn and O’Keefe have been on the outs, culminating in Learn’s anger overflowing sufficient to kill O’Keefe that evening.

“I just thought you were happy with your situation?” Higgins texted her at some point.

“I was,” Learn responded, “but things have deteriorated.”

Her major complaints have been taking good care of the niece and nephew that O’Keefe had taken custody of when their dad and mom died and her allegations that he cheated on her in Aruba.

Higgins is among the three individuals protection lawyer David Yannetti named in a pretrial listening to as various O’Keefe killers. The opposite two are Brian Albert, whose sister-in-law is Jennifer McCabe; and Albert’s nephew Colin Albert. The protection has argued that any mixture of or all three beat O’Keefe to dying, probably with Brian Albert’s canine Chloe enjoying a task, after which framed Learn.

The protection has stated that Jennifer McCabe, her husband Matthew McCabe, and an assortment of different members of the Albert household colluded with native and state police in a cover-up.

Learn and Higgins participated in a prolonged and flirtatious bout of texting on 9 non-consecutive days main as much as O’Keefe’s dying, with Learn early on attending to the purpose: “You’re hot” she texted him on Jan. 13, 2022.

Higgins learn his response, together with important parts from your entire trade, in court docket: “Feeling is mutual. Is that bad?”

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