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The two most important, reliable, and truthful witnesses in the Karen read case are Brian Loughran and Ryan Nagel. And although Loughran’s testimony that there was no body on the front lawn of 34 Fairview Road at 2:30 AM completely exonerates Karen Read, there is no person whose recounting of the events that night is more problematic for the Commonwealth than Nagel’s.
Ryan Nagel is virtually invisible online. When you search his name the only unfortunate thing that comes up is a mugshot from a Florida DUI.
But a lot of people have decent people have made the poor decision to drive when they shouldn’t, so this doesn’t define him. People who know Ryan say that he’s a good person and respectful.
Nagel arrived at 34 Fairview Road at almost the same time that Karen Read did. He sat in the passenger seat of Richie D’Antuono’s truck, with his girlfriend Heather Maxon in the backseat. His testimony about what he saw proved that John O’Keefe was not in Karen’s car, nor was John lying on the ground outside of her car. Yet Karen Read was indicted for manslaughter 6 days before Nagel was interviewed by Yuriy Bukhenik on February 7, 2022.
Ryan had his friend Richie drive to 34 Fairview Road because Ryan’s sister Julie Nagel had called him looking for a ride home. Richie D’Anuono and Karen Read were traveling down Cedercrest Road from opposite directions and arrived at Fairview Road at the same time. Richie yielded to Karen and allowed her to turn first.
No one in the truck saw John O’Keefe go into the house, which critics suggest is proof that John never went inside. But when John arrived there were several cars already parked in the driveway, including the McCabes, Alberts, and Brian Higgins. If John jumped out of the car and ran into the house, as a normal person wearing a light pullover would do in a snowstorm, then he could’ve gotten to the door in a couple seconds. The cars parked in the driveway would’ve acted as a shield, and in the dark and snowy conditions Nagel would not have seen him run inside.
Nagel told police that Karen’s car pulled up to where John’s body was later found after they arrived seconds later. Richie’s truck sat in front of the home for 5 minutes, waiting for Julie Nagel to come outside so they could give her a ride home. But instead of getting in the truck, Julie invited Ryan inside. Keep in mind, during those 5 minutes John’s phone was ascending and descending stairs before it stopped moving. Julie would’ve had full knowledge that John had been assaulted when she finally came outside.
At no point did police ask any of people in the truck what Julie Nagel’s behavior was like. Did she seem like herself? Did she appear to be rattled, like she had just witnessed something? Did she give an explanation about why she asked them to drive there in a snowstorm to give her a ride home, only to suddenly decide she didn’t need a ride after all? Did they ask Julie Nagel why she told her brother that she was going to sleep at 34 Fairview Road, only to leave an hour later with Jen McCabe? These are questions you ask when you’re trying to solve a murder, which the State Police had no intention of doing.
Ryan Nagel also told police that Karen Read’s brake lights were illuminated, and didn’t appear to be broken.
Ryan Nagel’s version of events is in direct conflict with the latest “statements of fact” from the Commonwealth. According to forensic expert Westfield State graduate Nicholas Guarino, John’s phone shows him arriving at Brian Albert’s house at 12:24:34, and implies that he was struck at 12:25:36.
If that were the case then John was run over by Karen one minute after getting there. Since Nagel was behind them it would’ve been impossible for the three people inside the truck not to witness John being struck. This means that all three witnesses in Richie’s truck are either lying to cover for Karen Read, or Westfield State graduate Nicholas Guarino is not the forensic expert that the Commonwealth purports that he is.
Additionally, Nagel stated that he did not hear any screams, and when they left 5-6 minutes after arriving they did not see John O’Keefe inside or outside of Karen Read’s vehicle.
When they first indicted Karen they were clearly trying to give the impression that John was struck AFTER Nagel left, not before. It’s why Jen McCabe told them that she saw Karen drive away at 12:45. They must have forgotten about this, because the new theory they’re running with is that she hit him at 12:25:36, and then immediately left the scene.
If it happened at 12:25, which the prosecution says it did, then all of this would have been witnessed by Nagel and the two other people inside the truck.
Julie Nagel likely had nothing to do with John O’Keefe being attacked inside the house, but she has certainly lied to investigators since then. She told Michael Proctor that she saw something shadowy on the lawn, 9 months after the murder. She was likely coached to say that because it was suspicious that no other witness saw John’s body on the lawn. Her statement made it seem like something MIGHT have been there. She’s not only guilty of remaining silent while Karen Read is charged with a crime that Julie Nagel knows she did not commit, she’s also gone out of her way to lie in a statement that was designed to further incriminate Karen Read.
Ryan Nagel might be in an uncomfortable situation because of this. He cannot take back what he told investigators, and was a loose end that the Alberts and McCabes could not control. But his statements indirectly incriminated his sister, and exonerate Karen Read. They were helpful to her defense from the beginning, but the latest theory from the Commonwealth makes him an ever more valuable witness for them.