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Brian Higgins testifies about exchanging flirtatious messages with Read. ‘Things are far from perfect’ with John O’Keefe, she texted.

Witness Brian Higgins, an ATF agent, testified during the trial of Karen Read in Norfolk Superior Court on Friday.Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Testimony resumed Friday in the sensational murder trial of Karen Read, who stands accused of backing her SUV into her Boston police officer boyfriend and leaving him for dead in Canton on a snowy night in January 2022.

Read, 44, of Mansfield, allegedly rammed her SUV into John O’Keefe early on Jan. 29, 2022 after dropping him off outside a Fairview Road home following a night of bar hopping and heavy drinking. She returned to the scene hours later with two other women and found O’Keefe’s snow-covered body, repeatedly shouting “I hit him” in the presence of first responders, witnesses have testified.

Attorneys for Read say she’s being framed and that O’Keefe actually entered the Fairview home, owned at the time by a fellow Boston officer whose son was celebrating his 23rd birthday, where he was fatally beaten in the basement before his body was planted on the front lawn.

Jurors this week have heard from Jennifer McCabe and Kerry Roberts, the two women with Read when she found O’Keefe’s body, as well as two sisters who took a group vacation to Aruba with Read and O’Keefe about a month before his death. The sisters, one of whom is mother to O’Keefe’s godson, said Read angrily confronted O’Keefe when she mistakenly thought she witnessed him kissing one of the adult siblings.

McCabe, meanwhile, said Read confessed at the scene to hitting O’Keefe but conceded on cross examination that she made no mention of those remarks when asked at least a dozen times during a grand jury session in April 2022 what Read had said.

She also said she Googled “hos [sic] long to die in cold” shortly before 6:30 a.m. on her phone as paramedics were tending to O’Keefe and a frantic Read asked her to look up how long it would take someone to die from hypothermia. The defense presented phone records indicating the search was conducted shortly before 2:30 a.m. and that McCabe deleted it, but she insisted the records were inaccurate.


ATF agent Brian Higgins, a friend of Brian Albert Sr., the Boston officer who owned the Fairview Road home at the time, testified on Friday. The defense, citing phone records, has said Higgins, who was among the group socializing with Read and O’Keefe at a local bar on the night of his death, had a romantic interest in Read. Witnesses have testified that Higgins went to the Fairview home for the afterparty, and prosecutors have turned over five pages of his medical records to the defense, according to legal filings.

Here’s how Friday’s testimony unfolded.

Catch up on the Karen Read trial, in 60 seconds
Here’s what you need to know about the Karen Read murder case and trial so far, in 60 seconds. (Olivia Yarvis/Globe Staff)

4:25 p.m. — Jackson asks Higgins further questions about the retrieval of information from his phone

Defense lawyer Alan Jackson cited regulations that prohibit federal agents from using federal resources for “personal gain.”

He asked if Brian Higgins worked with his friend, who is an ATF agent, to get “the information you selected” off his phone.

Higgins denied this and asked Judge Beverly Cannone if he could explain further.

“He walked me through on how I could pull a text string with John O’Keefe and the defendant, and he walked me through how to use the machine.”

”And then you did that?” Jackson asked. ”I did do that,” Higgins replied.


”And that’s what you turned over to police?“ Jackson asked.

”That is correct,” Higgins said.

4:15 p.m. — Jackson asks about Higgins’s phone and if he went to FBI forensics lab

Alan Jackson pressed Brian Higgins on whether he asked a friend in federal law enforcement who works in the FBI’s regional computer forensic lab for help with wiping his phone.

”I asked him how to pull text strings off my phone for the purpose of providing them to law enforcement,”Higgins said.

Jackson asked whether Higgins himself ever went to the forensics lab. ”Yes. Let me correct that. I went to a kiosk on the first floor of the FBI,” Higgins said. “It’s an unrestricted area, you can be in there unaccompanied, as I understand it, if you’re local law enforcement.”

He said he hooked his phone up to the machine. Jackson pressed that Higgins was using federal investigatory equipment for a case he was not assigned to investigate. Before Higgins answered, Cannone called for a sidebar.

4:14 p.m. — Judge Cannone calls a sidebar with attorneys

3:56 p.m. — Jackson asks about calls with Brian Albert, Canton police chief

Defense attorney Alan Jackson asked if Brian Higgins got a call around 6:12 p.m. from Brian Albert on Jan. 29. Higgins said he didn’t remember getting that call or a subsequent call from Canton Police Chief Ken Berkowitz minutes later.

Jackson said the records indicate that the call with Berkowitz lasted about five minutes.

”You don’t recall the substance of those conversations,” Jackson said.


”I don’t, no,” Higgins said.

Jackson asked if Higgins had testified previously that tail light pieces were found at the crime scene.

”That’s not what that was in reference to,” Higgins said. Jackson asked if he was providing information on the probe to Brian Albert or receiving it from Berkowitz during the evening calls, and Higgins said he no information about it.

3:50 p.m. — Alan Jackson presses Higgins on speaking with Brian Albert ‘throughout the day’

“Were you getting any information from Canton PD?” Alan Jackson asked. ”No I wasn’t,” Higgins said.

Jackson noted that Higgins was on the phone “with all those interested parties” throughout the day. Higgins said he was, as they’re his friends.

”You’re consistently throughout the day calling Brian Albert,” Jackson said.

”Yes of course I had conversations with him,” Higgins said, adding that O’Keefe was found “on his lawn.”

Jackson also noted records indicating Higgins was back at the Canton police station just around 4 p.m. on Jan. 29, and that he passed through the sally port repeatedly. Jackson asked if Higgins was aware that that was 90 minutes before Read’s vehicle was brought to the sally port and he said he was not. ”All I would do is use that [sally port] as a cut-through,” Higgins said. “Did not see anything.”

3:42 p.m. ‘People were in shock’ at Fairview house after O’Keefe’s body was discovered, Higgins testifies

ATF agent Brian Higgins testified that “he would have been happy” to allow investigators to look at his vehicle, had they asked. ”People were in shock at the table” at the Fairview house on the morning of the 29th after O’Keefe was discovered, Higgins said.


He said Jennifer McCabe that morning “made a statement at the table ... something to the effect that Karen had opined that she had hit John.”

”What she actually said was ‘I hope I didn’t hit him, correct?” lawer Alan Jackson asked.

Higgins said he didn’t believe that was accurate. Jackson asked if Higgins then spent “the entire day” at the Canton police station on Jan. 29. Higgins said he didn’t think he was there the whole day. “I don’t know how long I spent there,” Higgins said.

Jackson said records indicate Higgins was at the station from around 9 a.m. until roughly 5 p.m. Higgins said he can’t remember if he spoke with Fairview homeowner Brian Albert at the station but he “most likely” talked with Canton Police Chief Ken Berkowitz then.

Asked if he spoke with Kevin Albert, Higgins said, “I don’t believe so.”

Jackson said station logs indicate he initially entered Canton PD around 1:27 a.m. on Jan. 29.

Higgins said he may have only seen one cruiser at the Fairview scene when he first arrived back there several hours later. Jackson presented records showing Higgins again accessed the sally port area of the station at 9:23 a.m.

Authorities brought Read’s SUV into the sally port area later that day, and the defense has alleged her vehicle was tampered with.

”It would not be uncommon for me to move around Canton PD” at various times, Higgins said. “I’m pretty sure I wasn’t there all day.”

Jackson said records indicate Higgins was back in the station at 2:05 p.m. on Jan. 29. Jackson asked if Higgins called Kevin Albert at 3:10 p.m. on the 29th, and Higgins said “I’m sure it’s possible that we spoke.”

Jackson said phone records indicate they had a 12-minute call and asked if Higgins was seeking or providing information about the investigation during that conversation. Higgins said he was not. Jackson asked if Higgins called Brian Albert moments later, citing the records, and Higgins said “it’s possible.”

The records, Jackson said, show Brian Albert and Higgins then had a six-minute call starting at 3:24 p.m.

”Was that just a coincidence?” Jackson said.”There was a lot going on that day,” Higgins said, adding that people were upset. Asked if he was providing information about the case from Kevin Albert to Brian Albert, Higgins said, “absolutely not.”

3:19 p.m. Higgins cross examination continues

Brian Higgins said, “There was no discussion. I never talked to Brian Albert.”

”Then why the 22-second phone call?” lawyer Alan Jackson asked, followed by a government objection that Cannone sustained.

Higgins said it was “my idea” to drive to Fairview home once he learned what had happened. ”It was important to support the people who were there,” Higgins said, when asked if he wanted to go there in person to avoid phone and text communication.

Higgins said he called Canton Police Chief Ken Berkowitz back at 7:22 a.m. after speaking with Brian Albert by phone.

“No,” Higgins said when asked if he was seeking information about the investigation from the chief. “I didn’t even know what happened” at the time.

Jackson asked Higgins if he told Berkowitz he was with John O’Keefe the night before.

”I believe I may have told him at some point that I saw John at the Waterfall,” Higgins said, adding that he believes he also told Berkowitz he went to the Fairview house afterward.

”No, I don’t believe so,” Higgins said when asked if he ever told Berkowitz he had an interest in Read.

Jackson asked if Higgins told Berkowitz he’d texted O’Keefe to come over to Fairview around 12:20 a.m. on Jan. 29 and he said, “no.”

Asked if he was aware searching phones is common in modern investigations, Higgins said he’d “utilized electronic data” in his own law enforcement work. He said he arrived back at Fairview around 7:15 a.m. on Jan. 29. Asked if any investigator asked to look at his vehicle, Higgins said, “to my knowledge, nobody has ever asked me that.”

3:11 p.m. — Higgins testifies he has ‘no recollection’ of calls, denies having 22-second call with Brian Albert

Attorney Alan Jackson asked Brian Higgins if 22 seconds was long enough to have a conversation, and Higgins said “I don’t agree with it, no.”

Higgins said he testified in a prior hearing that the call must have been a “butt dial.”

”I have no recollection of answering the phone or calling anybody back,” Higgins said. “I didn’t make any calls. I have no recollection of any calls. Nor did I speak with anybody.”

Jackson asked if Higgins previously testified that he did make a call but he and Albert had no conversation. Higgins read a transcript of his prior testimony in which he said he called Albert back but did not have a conversation.

”I did not have a 22-second call with Brian Albert,” Higgins told Jackson. “There was no conversation.”

3:03 p.m.Cross examination continues as Jackson presses Higgins about phone records showing two brief calls shortly after 2:20 a.m. on Jan. 29

Alan Jackson, a Read defense attorney, asked Brian Higgins if he went back to Canton PD around 1:30 a.m., could he monitor what was happening with the department at that time? “No,” Higgins said.

Jackson asked if he’d be in a position to hear calls for service placed to the police station, and Judge Cannone sustained a prosecution objection.

Higgins told Jackson he did not make or receive any calls after getting home early on Jan. 29 from the police station.

Higgins told Jackson he normally places his work and personal phones on a nightstand when he goes to bed. He said a call from Canton Police Chief Ken Berkowitz woke him up around 6:30 a.m. but he didn’t take it, before he later answered Brian Albert’s call.

Jackson said phone records show Higgins and Brian Albert exchanged two phone calls shortly after 2:20 a.m. on Jan. 29.

”I have no recollection of any phone calls” with Albert then, Higgins said.

Jackson gave Higgins the relevant phone records to review. The records show a 1-second call from Albert to Higgins at 2:22 a.m., followed by a second call moments later from Higgins to Albert that lasts 22 seconds.

”That’s what the records say,” Higgins said. “I always tell the truth.”

2:31 p.m.Defense attorney says Higgins told State Police he went to Canton PD to do adminstrative work

ATF agent Brian Higgins told Karen Read lawyer Jackson that no vehicles were in front of him when he pulled out. ”You still didn’t see a body on that lawn did you?” Jackson said. ”I did not,” Higgins said. “I didn’t see anything.”

He said he went to Canton PD headquarters to “move two vehicles” after leaving Fairview. Jackson noted that days after John O’Keefe’s death, Higgins told State Police he went back to the Canton station to perform administrative work.

”Can we agree Mr. Higgins that you didn’t mention anything about moving cars around?” Jackson said. ”Well, that would be administrative,” Higgins said. “The purpose of going back was to move two vehicles. ... I was moving the vehicles. I’m sure it’s on video.”

2:25 p.m. Higgins testifies that he stayed ‘less than an hour’ at afterparty, did not see anything on front lawn as he left

AFT agent Brian Higgins told defense attorney Alan Jackson the plow on his Jeep was about six feet wide and a few inches deep.

People were in the kitchen area of the Fairview home when he walked in, including Brian Jr. and two of his female friends, Higgins said.

Higgins said he “briefly” went into another room with Brian Sr. to look at the military photos. He told Jackson he’s never been upstairs to the second floor of the Fairview house.

The photos, he said, were on the first floor. Jackson asked if someone said they “went upstairs” to look at the photos, wouldn’t they have to be in the basement?

”Who said they went upstairs?” Higgins said. ”If Brian Albert said [he] went upstairs, where would you have to be?” Jackson asked.

Judge Beverly Cannone sustained a prosecution objection. Higgins said he’d been down to the Fairview basement one time previously. Jackson asked if homeowner Brian Albert would have made an inaccurate statement if he said Higgins had never been to the basement.

Cannone sustained a government objection. Higgins also told Jackson he previously testified that he “might have” seen a tall, dark-haired man enter the Fairview home while he was there, which he said was in “reference to somebody’s brother” who was coming to pick up a guest.

”There was no question in your mind that a male did in fact show up,” Jackson said. Higgins said that was accurate, and that he previously testified “I believe he did,” when asked if the male ever came in the house. ”I wasn’t sure,” Higgins said.

Jackson noted Higgins answered “yes” in the prior proceeding when asked if the person came in the house, and that the person only came in briefly. ”You said it was quick,” Jackson said. “Less than a couple minutes. ... You testified that a tall, dark haired man came into the house at least briefly.”

Higgins said he did not know when the person came in, and that he did not “recall” telling State Police days after O’Keefe’s death that a tall dark haired man came in the house. He also said he did not mention the male before the state grand jury in 2022.

Records indicate he mentioned the male during June 2023 testimony before a federal grand jury also looking into the case. Jurors are barred from hearing about that proceeding.

Higgins said he stayed “less than hour” at Fairview, leaving between 12:30 a.m. and 1 a.m. Jackson said Higgins previously testified he “made a b-line” for the exit.

”Why the rush?” Jackson said. ”Because it was a long day” and he wanted to get home, Higgins said.

Jackson said “but you didn’t go home,” and Higgins reiterated that he fist went to Canton PD headquarters to “move vehicles.”

”You certainly didn’t see a body in the yard” at 34 Fairview when you pulled away, Jackson said. ”Of course not,” Higgins said.

”The lights [on the Jeep] lit up everything in front of you, correct?” Jackson asked. Higgins said they did and that he still did not see a body on the lawn.

2:07 p.m. Higgins says he had ‘no idea who was coming’ to Fairview after party

Brian Higgins told lawyer Alan Jackson that he got to Fairview Road home before the Alberts and never discussed going there with Karen Read and John O’Keefe at the Waterfall.

”My impression was that it was an open invitation,” Higgins said. “I had no idea who was coming.”

Jackson noted Higgins texted O’Keefe at 12:20 a.m., “you coming here???”

”I did,” Higgins said, adding that he did not text Read at that time.

Jackson asked Higgins if he was “more interested” in getting O’Keefe to the house rather than Read, and he said he didn’t think so.

Higgins’s Jeep, he told Jackson, was parked “by the mailbox” in front of 34 Fairview when he went in for the after party.

2:03 p.m.Defense attorney suggests Read ‘ignored’ Higgins at the Waterfall. Higgins denies it, says Read was ‘working the room’

Higgins said he decided to join the Alberts at the Waterfall bar in Canton because he’d received similar invites in the past. Defense attorney Alan Jackson asked if he exchanged any texts with Brian Albert about who was coming to the Waterfall, and Higgins said “not that I recall.”

He said he saw no tension between Read and O’Keefe at the Waterfall. Higgins said he had “at least a couple” whiskeys at the Waterfall before he drove to 34 Fairview Road.

Read “did not greet you, did she,” when she entered the Waterfall, Jackson said. “No,” Higgins said. “I didn’t have any interaction with her that night, no.”

”She basically ignored you the entire evening,” Jackson said. “No,” Higgins said. “Just because somebody doesn’t come over doesn’t mean they ignored you. ... In my opinion, she was working the room, talking to people, saying hello, catching up. ... I was one of the people she didn’t say hello to, yes.”

Higgins said he “did not feel ignored and it didn’t upset me at all.” Jackson said it “bothered you enough” to send Read the “ummmmm .... well” text at the bar.

Higgins said “not correct” when Jackson asked if he meant to convey to her, “why are you ignoring me?” Higgins said Read didn’t reply to the text but he “didn’t read into it.”

1:57 p.m. — Brian Higgins testifies that texts with Read dwindled after Jan. 23

Defense lawyer Alan Jackson noted the texts between Karen Read and ATF agent Brian Higgins started to “dwindle off” after Jan. 23, and he said “they lagged.”

Higgins said that when Read texted on Jan. 23 that she wasn’t done “with talking” to him, he replied, “Hmmmm. You sure.”

Read did not respond, records show.

Jackson asked if Higgins “openly shared” his interest in Read with a supervisor at work, and he said he informed his boss that she had kissed him. Higgins said he never discussed his interest in Read with Brian Albert.

”Even though he’s a good friend,” Jackson said. “Yes,” Higgins said, adding that it wasn’t something he would “talk about.”

1 p.m. — Lunch recess is called

Judge Beverly Cannone called a lunch recess at 1 p.m. Testimony will resume at 1:45 p.m.

12:59 p.m.Higgins testifies that Read never expressed anger or hatred toward O’Keefe in their text exchanges

Brian Higgins told defense attorney Alan Jackson of Read: “I thought she was an attractive woman.”

”Romantically attractive,” Jackson said.

”I’m not going to go there, no,” Higgins said.

”Were you or were you not sexually attracted to my client?” Jackson continued. “Yes,” Higgins said.

He told Jackson the “real deal” remark in the texts referred to his desire for “a real relationship.”

Jackson noted one text when Higgins asked what Read wanted from him and she responded, “I don’t know.”

Read never once expressed anger or hatred toward O’Keefe in the texts, Jackson said. ”No, not at all,” Higgins said.

Jackson asked if Read had “sort of ghosted” him after Jan. 23, 2022 and Higgins said “no.”

”She also sent me a text with arrows saying the phone works both ways,” Higgins said. They exchanged no texts between Jan. 23 and Jan. 29, Jackson said.

”I believe so,” Higgins said.

12:54 p.m. — During cross examination, Higgins testifies he was ‘attracted’ to Read but not necessarily interested in ‘romantic phase’

Brian Higgins told Read defense lawyer Alan Jackson that he’s also close with Kevin Albert, a Canton detective who is Brian Albert’s brother.

Higgins said he’s “assisted” Kevin Albert on some of his cases and has also socialized with him.

”I would say that I know Brian and Kevin the best,” Higgins said when Jackson asked if it’s fair to say he knows the Albert family well.

Jackson asked if Higgins and Brian Albert were going “round for round” at the Hillside bar on the night of Jan. 28 before they went to the Waterfall bar in Canton. Higgins said he didn’t think that was accurate.

”To be honest with you, I wasn’t keeping track,” Higgins said. He said he decided to join the Alberts at the Waterfall, driving himself there after consuming as many as four whiskeys at the Hillside.

Turning back to the Patriots game on Jan. 15, Jackson asked Higgins if Read’s kiss as he left John O’Keefe’s home was a “passionate long kiss” or more like a peck. Higgins said it was not the sort of kiss one offers to a friend. He told Jackson they never had any additional intimate contact.

In addition, Jackson asked if Read indicated to Higgins that she didn’t think the Aruba incident was a big deal.

”It was clear to me she was upset,” Higgins said. He said he asked Read for “clarity” many times during their texting, which she didn’t provide.

Jackson asked if Higgins was frustrated due to his romantic interest in her and he said, “I was attracted to her. ... I wouldn’t say it was romantic, I was trying to vet it out. ... I was trying to vet out was her interest in me legitimate?”

Higgins added, “I was interested” but not necessarily in the “romantic phase.”

12:41 p.m. Defense attorney asks Higgins about Brian Albert

Brian Higgins said he previously testified that he and Brian Albert drank together and had meals together roughly 30 to 50 times over a two-year period between 2021 and 2023.

”There’s no secret there,” Higgins said. “He’s my friend.”

Defense lawyer Alan Jackson asked if he knew Brian Albert had once gotten into a fistfight with Eddie Hernandez, the Boston detective they traveled to New York with, and Judge Cannone sustained a prosecution objection.

Jackson noted that Higgins had indicated in a prior law enforcement interview that even Ken Berkowitz, the former Canton police chief, was “a little afraid” of Brian Albert.

Judge Cannone sustained a government objection and called the lawyers to sidebar.

12:36 p.m. Higgins testifies that Jan. 28 and 29, 2022, live in his mind ‘like a nightmare’

ATF agent Brian Higgins told Read defense attorney Alan Jackson that the dates Jan. 28 and Jan. 29, 2022, have lived in his mind “like a nightmare.”

He told Jackson he and Brian Albert and Kevin Albert know many of the same people and attended a number of the same parties and social events.

Asked if he was “well connected” to the Canton Police Department, Higgins said he’s close friends with former Canton Police Chief Ken Berkowitz. Berkowitz retired about six months after O’Keefe’s death.

Jackson asked if Higgins recalled saying “if you want to hide a body, Kenny Berkowitz is your man” during a toast at Berkowitz’s retirement party.

”I don’t,” Higgins said.

12:25 p.m. — Read attorney Alan Jackson begins cross examination

Alan Jackson asked Higgins on cross examination who he came to court with, and Higgins said he met his attorney at the courthouse.

”I don’t know where he physically is right now,” Higgins said of his lawyer, adding that he met with the attorney before he testified and during the morning recess.

Higgins told Jackson he had one prior conversation on Monday with prosecutor Adam Lally about his testimony, which lasted roughly 90 minutes. Higgins’s attorney joined him during that talk, he testified. He said he didn’t observe anyone taking notes during the meeting. Higgins said he turned over a piece of mail to State Police during the meeting that he had received at his home.

The lawyers were then called to sidebar.

12:20 p.m. — Judge calls a sidebar before defense cross-examines Higgins

Higgins said that when he pulled away from the Fairview residence early on Jan. 29, he “just pulled out into the middle of the street” and “drove away.”

Judge Cannone called the attorneys to sidebar before the defense began its cross examination.

12:20 p.m. Higgins testifies that Read came to his home one evening

Higgins said Read came over to his residence one evening earlier in January 2022.

”I’m not proud of these text messages,” he said, adding that it “was just a weird experience” when Read came over and he asked her again what she truly wanted.

He said Read left after a brief period. Higgins said he was “very uncomfortable” when Read came to his residence and that “it was just a weird vibe.”

On Jan. 23, 2022, records show, Read texted Higgins and he said “thought you were all set,” and she replied, “With talking? No.”

The last text he received from Read came at 11:54 a.m. on Jan. 29. It said simply, “John died.” Higgins said he never heard from Read again.

12:14 p.m. ‘I know where the cameras are,’ Read texted to Higgins

Brian Higgins wrote to Karen Read at another point that usually people reach out to someone when they don’t live with someone else.

”Maybe, maybe not,” Read replied. Higgins also told her, “I don’t need drama, dude. ... You legit planted one on me.”

Read wrote, “I know where the cameras are anyway. Duh.”

Higgins asked if her “slick move” wasn’t captured by the home security systems and she said no, and that she’d just pecked Higgins. ”I kissed Kerri and gay Jeff too,” Read wrote.

Higgins at another point invited her over for a drink and Read replied, “I’m 42. I know what happens when you invite someone over for a drink.” Read wrote at another point that “things are far from perfect” with her boyfriend John O’Keefe and that she’s “not married and neither are you. Neither is John.”

Read also wrote that she and O’Keefe had no intention of “EVER getting married.”

12:04 p.m. Higgins testifies about Read texts referencing children, trip to Aruba with O’Keefe

ATF agent Brian Higgins also texted Read that he “can go to any base but usually Hanscom in Bedford or down the Cape,” and she replied, “Which base down the Cape?” Higgins also asked if she was moving to Canton.

Read said she was there most of the time but sometimes it’s “a lot,” adding that she “never wanted kids.” Higgins wrote that he thought she was happy in her relationship and she replied “everyone is happy at the Hillside.”

Read said John O’Keefe’s niece and nephew are “very spoiled” and that O’Keefe got “drunk and sloppy” on the Aruba trip.

”I found him all over our friend’s sister” in the lobby, and “she’s gross,” Read wrote. Higgins told her he’d been divorced since 2017 and had no kids, but his former wife had a child when they met and it was difficult.

”You can vent, babe,” Higgins wrote to Read at one point.

11:57 a.m. ‘This is so out of left field’: Higgins testifies that he asked Read why she was texting him

Brian Higgins said as he started to exit the home of John O’Keefe after watching a Patriots game there, Karen Read told him to leave a different way, through the garage.

”The defendant kissed me,” he said. “Not like a friend.”

He said he was “taken aback” and not expecting the kiss, and that he left “almost immediately.” Higgins said he had texted her at another point that he thought Read was “messing” with him because “this is so out of left field.”

Read wrote that “I just think you’re like me,” and also asked “do you have your own kids.” He said he did not have his own children and asked more than once why she was reaching out to him.

”Was she trying to weaponize me against John and put me in the middle?” Higgins said. “I was having a hard time [determining] ... what was happening.” Read asked “do you like me,” and he said, “Yes from jump,” per the text records.

Read also wrote she thought she and Higgins were “from the same neighborhood,” records show. She wrote to him another point that she was “basically begging you” to come over, records show. He texted her at another point, “ball’s in your court,” and she asked what he wanted, so Higgins replied, “loaded question.”

”We’re single and we don’t have kids,” Read texted him, records show. “We can do whatever we want.”

She also told him that “I don’t want any responsibility,” and Higgins again asked why she reached out to him, writing “still have not told me.” Higgins said he’s “fine with it” but just can’t figure out why she won’t answer. ”I just think you’re like me and I’m attracted to you,” Read wrote, adding that “things have deteriorated” between her and O’Keefe.

”He seems very into you,” Higgins wrote. He also asked if she was breaking up with O’Keefe, and she said she didn’t know, and that O’Keefe “hooked up” with someone else on the Aruba trip weeks earlier.

Higgins testified that during their text thread he was constantly wondering if her interest in him was “legitimate.”

Higgins wrote in another text to Read, “did they bang?” referencing her false allegation that O’Keefe hooked up with someone else in Aruba. Read replied, “Does that matter?” ”We did kiss earlier, no?” Read wrote.

”I think you initiated that,” Higgins replied. He later wrote that he was seeking “the real deal” in a relationship, and she replied, “it doesn’t exist.”

11:38 a.m.ATF agent Higgins testifies about flirtatious texts, kiss with Karen Read

Brian Higgins identified text messages he’d exchanged with Karen Read, before prosecutor Adam Lally displayed them on a screen in the courtroom. He said the texts started Jan. 12, 2022, and he’d never communicated with Read previously via text.

”Hey Brian, it’s the weedwhacker,” Read texted him on that day. Higgins said weedwhacker was “kind of a nickname that she adopted,” after he had seen Read in Canton one day using a weedwhacker and beeped at her, prompting her to give him “the finger.”

Higgins said he turned his vehicle around and rolled down the window and she said “get the [expletive] away from me, my husband’s a Boston cop,” but then she recognized him when he rolled his window down more.

He also read Jan. 13, 2022 texts that he and Read had exchanged.

”How did you get my digits?” Higgins wrote.”The Melissa and Lito show,” Read replied, referencing other regulars at the Hillside bar. He texted her at another point in the exchange, “I am going to Nashville next month 19-21 for a benefit. One of our guys got shot in the head. You guys should come.”

Read texted him later that he was “kind of a loner” and Higgins replied that he had “a ton of buddies” but only a few friends he was “tight with.” He also told her his father had died of cancer in 2020.

Read told him at another point on Jan. 15 via text, “You’re hot,” and he replied, “are you serious or messing with me?” and she said, “No I’m serious,” prompting him to reply, “Feeling is mutual.”

Higgins said that as he was exiting O’Keefe’s home after the Patriots game, “the defendant planted a kiss on me.”

11:19 a.m. Trial resumes after judge presents jury with instructions; Higgins returns to the stand

10:36 a.m.Judge calls morning recess

Judge Beverly Cannone has called a 15-minute morning recess, following a lengthy sidebar with lawyers.

10:29 a.m.Higgins testifies about text communications over several months with John O’Keefe, Karen Read

ATF agent Brian Higgins identified a text exchange from Nov. 2021 in which John O’Keefe had asked him if he wanted to meet up for drinks.

Higgins said he sent O’Keefe another text on Jan. 16, 2022, asking if he had broken his nephew’s video game when he visited the day before. Another time in early January, Higgins said, he texted O’Keefe an offer to plow his driveway.

”A number of times at the Hillside” O’Keefe had invited him to come back to his home to watch the end of a game, Higgins said. He said he went over to O’Keefe’s home on Jan. 15, 2022, to watch the end of the Patriots game because he’d gotten separate text invites from O’Keefe and Karen Read.

Higgins said he played video games with O’Keefe’s nephew that day. The following day, he jokingly texted O’Keefe “was it really necessary” to add Hennessy beverages to the mix, Higgins testified, looking at the records on the stand.

10:17 a.m.Higgins testifies about turning over text messages with Read and O’Keefe to investigators

Higgins said he gave an interview days later to Trooper Michael Proctor, lead State Police investigator in the case, and a second trooper.

He said Proctor reminded him they had worked together on a prior case involving a “gun recovery” but he hadn’t ever socialized with him. ”I provided them with text messages that I had exchanged ... with John O’Keefe and text messages that I had exchanged with the defendant,” Higgins said. “They were copies,” essentially screen shots, he testified.

Higgins said he “consulted a coworker” who’s also a friend who has training with cell phones and asked about the “best way” to provide the texts to law enforcement. ”I wanted to be fully transparent,” he said.

Higgins said he did “nothing” to alter or delete the texts before giving the copies to the troopers. ”Exactly what was on my phone, I provided to them,” Higgins said. “I think during the actual interview [Proctor’s partner]” asked if any texts had been deleted.

Higgins said he replied that he may have deleted some older texts between him and O’Keefe but that copies of all the germane texts from the time period in question were turned over. “There was more detailed questions” during the interview about Karen Read and John O’Keefe’s relationship, Higgins said.

10:10 a.m.Higgins testifies his phones “were blowing up” with calls around 6:30 a.m. from Canton police chief, Brian Albert

Brian Higgins said he went into the police station’s sally port area, down a hallway past the dispatch center to the right. He said he knew the station was outfitted with security cameras that captured people coming and going.

Higgins said “newly promoted [Canton] Sgt. [Sean] Goode” was on duty at the time. ”I go back downstairs and I move the [federal] vehicles to the center of the parking lot,” Higgins said, adding that he went from there to West Roxbury where he also had an apartment.

”Could have been somewhere around 20 [minutes] of 2” a.m. when he got to the apartment, Higgins said. “It was a long day. ... I had something else to eat and I believe I might have had another couple of drinks and either laid on the couch or laid on my bed” and fell asleep.

In the morning he said, “both my work and personal phones were blowing up, they were going off” around 6:30 a.m. ”First it was [Canton] Chief [Kenneth] Berkowitz” followed by Brian Albert, Higgins said. He said he answered the call from Albert, and they spoke.

Higgins said he then drove his Jeep back to the Fairview Road in Canton, arriving there shortly after 7 a.m.

”I don’t recall, maybe a police car, I don’t remember,” Higgins said when asked what he saw when he pulled onto the street. The weather at the time was “real bad,” he said.

Inside the house, he said, he saw Brian and Nicole Albert and the McCabes, and Julie Albert, another sister to Nicole Albert, showed up later in the morning.

”People were pretty distraught,” Higgins said, “because John had been found on the lawn.” Asked if that was why he’d gone to the house, Higgins said, “yes.”

He said “it didn’t make sense to me” when he was told earlier by Brian Albert that O’Keefe had been found on the lawn. “I couldn’t do the math in my head. ... They never showed up. It didn’t make sense.”

Higgins said he stayed at the home for less than an hour, and he likely went from there to the Canton police station.

”Because I was still trying to put things together in my head, I was upset,” Higgins said when asked why he went to the police station. “Those would be the reasons.” He said he wasn’t sure how long he was at the police station and couldn’t “specifically remember” where he went next.

9:55 a.m.Higgins testifies that he left Fairview home at 12:10 a.m., drove to Canton police station to move his vehicles to allow for plowing

Brian Higgins said he knew of Brian Albert’s nephew, Colin Albert, though “if he walked in here right now I wouldn’t know,” and he didn’t see him at the Brian Albert’s Fairview Road home.

Colin Albert has previously testified that he was picked up from the Fairview home at 12:10 a.m., some 15 or 20 minutes or so before Read dropped off O’Keefe on the street.

Higgins said snow was on the ground as he left the home and made his way back to the Jeep. He said he wasn’t looking toward the front yard at the time, where prosecutors say O’Keefe would have been lying after being struck by Read’s SUV.

”It was a long day,” Higgins said, adding that he was “just looking to get home.”

He said he started to pull away but stopped when he heard his plow grinding on the ground, so he pulled a device called a “fish stick” to lift it up before he kept moving. He said he pulled the plow up “a foot or two” and then pulled away. His attention “wasn’t drawn to anything, I just drove away,” Higgins said. “I didn’t see any” other vehicles as he left.

Higgins said he went back to the Canton police station after leaving the Fairview residence. He said he wanted to move his government-issued vehicles in the lot to allow for plowing.

9:48 a.m. Higgins says he never saw Read or O’Keefe at Fairview Road home that night: ‘Absolutely not, no’

ATF agent Brian Higgins said the group of bar hoppers moved from the Waterfall to Brian Albert’s house on Fairview Road shortly after midnight.

”I knew where I was going, yes,” Higgins said. “I think pretty much everyone was wrapping up and leaving. I know that I beat Brian and [his wife] Nicole back to the house.”

O’Keefe, he said, was drinking beers at the Waterfall and “the defendant had glasses” of some kind of liquid.

The roadway was still “black at the time” when he arrived at Fairview but snow had begun to fall and the sidewalk had a light coating, he said. He said he decided to jokingly plow a bit of the Alberts’ driveway before parking his Jeep out front by the mailbox.

”I wanted to make sure that I was not blocking the driveway or blocked in,” Higgins said. From there, he said, he entered the home, around the same time Brian and Nicole Albert arrived. Brian Jr., Albert’s son who was celebrating his birthday, was seated in the island area of the kitchen with two female friends, Higgins said.

Matt McCabe and his wife Jennifer McCabe, sister to Nicole Albert, arrived soon after, Higgins said. He said Brian Sr. “at one point briefly” showed him some family photos of another one of his sons in the Marine Corps ”because he was proud,” Higgins said. “Brian was in the Marine Corps and I was in the Army.”

They looked at the photos for a “brief” period in a family room, he said, and he left the Fairview home between 12:30 a.m. and 1 a.m. ”It was a very short period of time,” Higgins said, adding that “I’m not a beer drinker and that’s what they had.”

He said he never went upstairs or down to the basement at any point. The mood in the home was “fine,” Higgins said. “Everybody was happy.” He said his back was to the front door as he sat in the kitchen area.

”Absolutely not, no,” Higgins said when prosecutor Adam Lally asked if he saw O’Keefe or Read at Fairview at any point.

He said he texted O’Keefe at one point asking where he was and got no response. ”After I left the Waterfall, I never saw John O’Keefe and the defendant again,” Higgins said. He said he was probably the first person to later leave the Fairview home.

Karen Read talks with her attorney Alan Jackson as witness Brian Higgins testifies during her trial in Norfolk Superior Court on Friday, May 24, in Dedham. Charles Krupa/Associated Press

9:36 a.m.Higgins recounts visit to Hillside bar, says Read produced glass of what looked to be clear liquid from under her coat

Higgins said he and Brian Albert arrived at the Hillside bar around the same time.

”I had something to eat” and both men had drinks, Higgins said. “Brian had left before me.”

Higgins said he was drinking “Jameson and ginger,” his typical drink. He said Brian Albert invited him to join his family and friends at the Waterfall bar, another local establishment. Higgins later arrived at the Waterfall and sat with “Brian and his family,” he testified.

Brian Albert was “a good friend, he was a coworker,” Higgins said. “I had been working closely with his [BPD fugitive] unit. I’d say he was a good friend.”

The mood, Higgins said, was positive at the Waterfall. ”It was a good time,” he said. “There was a band.”

The party began preparing to leave around midnight, Higgins said, and “John O’Keefe and the defendant” had come in earlier. He said he had known O’Keefe for perhaps a little over a year at the time, having met him previously at the Hillside.

”I would see him at the Hillside,” Higgins said. “He was a Boston police officer.” He said he had known Read for about the same amount of time.”They were dating,” he said. Higgins said he saw the couple together “more often than not,” and went over to O’Keefe’s house once for the end of a Patriots game. ”I considered him a friend,” Higgins said. “I considered her a friend, as well.” He said he would sometimes text with them.

O’Keefe and Read, he said, entered the Waterfall at some point after 11 p.m. He said Read opened her coat and took a glass out of it. ”It was a tall glass,” he said. “It looked like a clear liquid in there.”

Higgins said he learned the couple had been across the street at McCarthy’s, another bar, and he gleaned that the glass Read took out from her coat “wasn’t from the Waterfall.” He said he recalled a “brief conversation” with O’Keefe at the bar that was essentially just “greetings,” and he did not speak to Read at the Waterfall. He did text her, however, words to the effect of “um ... well” at the bar, he said. ”I guess you could view it as a flirty text,” Higgins said.

9:25 a.m.Brian Higgins takes the stand

Brian Higgins said he lives in Barnstable County and has owned a property there since 2018. He said he worked as a Cambridge Fire Department lieutenant prior to joining the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Higgins said he lived previously in Canton from 2017 to Jan. 5, 2022, when he sold his home there.

Earlier on Jan. 28, 2022, he said, he was in New York City for funeral services for two officers killed in the line of duty. Higgins said he made his way back to Massachusetts that morning owing to “the anticipation of a blizzard.” He said he drove his government-issued Dodge Ram pickup down and back.

Boston Police Officer Brian Albert and his brother Kevin Albert, a Canton detective, joined Higgins on the trip along with Eddie Hernandez, a BPD detective, Higgins testified.

”First and foremost, we’re all friends,” he said, adding that he knew Hernandez the longest of the trio, followed by Brian, and then Kevin.

Higgins said he has a Canton Police Department satellite office which the former chief offered up to him after his sister died.

”It’s not abnormal [as a federal agent] to have space within a department that you work closely with,” Higgins said.

He said the men stopped for a meal on their way back to Massachusetts, and then they went to a BPD district station in Charlestown where Brian Albert had parked his vehicles. From there, Higgins said, he dropped off Kevin Albert at Canton PD headquarters and then went to the Hillside bar in Canton to meet Brian Albert.

Higgins said he drove his personal 2011 gray Jeep Wrangler, outfitted at the time with a plow some 6-feet-8-inches in size, to the Hillside. He’d affix the plow on the Jeep whenever “inclement weather” was expected to help family and friends clear property during storms.

9:14 a.m.Prosecutors called Brian Higgins as their first witness Friday morning

Higgins is an agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives who was at the Canton bar and after-party at the home of his friend, Brian Albert.

Read’s lawyers, citing phone records, have said that Higgins had a romantic interest in Read.

9:09 a.m. — Jury entering the courtroom.

Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com.