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HAIR on Accused Boyfriend Killer’s Bumper IS O’KEEFE’S, Expert Testifies

Hair found in Karen Read’s SUV matched slain cop John O’Keefe’s mitochondrial DNA profile, an expert testified Thursday. According to Boston.com, Nicholas Bradford, a DNA analyst from Bode Technology, and his colleague, Tess Chart, took the stand in connection with the murder case against Karen Read, who stands accused of killing her boyfriend, O’Keefe, a Boston police officer.

The lab analyzed several key items, including a hair on the rear passenger side panel of Read’s SUV, a sample taken from her taillight, and buccal swabs from Massachusetts State Police Sgt. Yuriy Bukhenik and Trooper Michael Proctor.

“The hair sample was consistent with the mitochondrial DNA profile obtained from John O’Keefe,” Chart said.

Bradford testified that the analysis provided “very strong support” for O’Keefe’s DNA in the mixture found on the taillight sample, while the DNA of Bukhenik and Proctor was excluded from this mixture.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, a Norfolk County grand jury in Massachusetts indicted Read in 2022 on murder, motor vehicle manslaughter, and leaving the scene of a collision causing death charges. She’s accused of killing her boyfriend, John O’Keefe, a Boston police officer.

Read was initially arrested on manslaughter charges after she allegedly hit O’Keefe with her SUV, then left him for dead outside a friend’s residence in Canton. Police said the incident happened after Read had a night out involving drinking.

Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab forensic scientist Andre Porto also provided testimony Thursday, stating that it was highly probable that O’Keefe’s DNA was part of a three-person mixture found on Read’s taillight, but added that no human DNA was detected in a hair recovered from the back of Read’s SUV.

However, he explained that the State Police Crime Lab does not perform mitochondrial DNA testing, which analyzes DNA from a different part of the cell.

Andre Porto from MSP crime lab DNA unit testifies during the Karen Read trial at Norfolk County Superior Court in Dedham, Mass., Thursday, June 13, 2024. (David McGlynn/The Patriot Ledger via AP, Pool)

Porto added that a piece of glass found on Read’s bumper also had “insufficient DNA.”

“At the quantitative step, we do have a cutoff, a certain value where if we detect human DNA that’s below this cutoff, we’ve validated that it’s most likely not going to provide a profile that can be used, so we halt testing at that step,” he said.

Porto then said a DNA profile was extracted from swabbing a broken drinking glass found at the crime scene, which indicated a mixture of DNA from three people, including O’Keefe with a high degree of likelihood.

Witnesses previously testified that they saw O’Keefe on security footage on January 29, holding a glass as he left a bar, before going to an after-party. The defense chose not to cross-examine Porto.

The trial continues. Check back for updates.

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