May 21, 2024

Crime

“I’ll combat these costs, I can be victorious, and it’ll go down within the historical past books as the best protection of the First Modification within the historical past of journalism,” the blogger stated.

“Turtleboy” blogger Aidan Kearney talks to reporters exterior Stoughton District Court docket after his arraignment on witness intimidation costs in connection along with his protection of the Karen Learn homicide case. Matthew J. Lee/Boston Globe Employees, File

Aidan Kearney is dealing with new costs after a Norfolk County grand jury indicted the controversial Turtleboy blogger on 16 felony counts in connection along with his protection of the sensational homicide case towards Karen Learn.

Accused of harassing a number of witnesses in Learn’s case, Kearney was initially arrested in October and arraigned in Stoughton District Court docket. Late final month, particular prosecutor Ken Mello instructed that Kearney would face further conspiracy costs down the road and {that a} grand jury may quickly bump his case as much as Norfolk Superior Court docket. 

The Holden blogger is now charged with eight counts of witness intimidation, 5 counts of picketing a witness, and three counts of conspiracy to intimidate a witness, court docket information present. Boston.com has reached out to Mello for touch upon the indictment. 

Writing on Turtleboy Wednesday afternoon, Kearney stated he’s scheduled for arraignment in Norfolk Superior Court docket on Dec. 27, although he famous that he’s making an attempt to get the date moved again as a result of his lawyer, Tim Bradl, can be out of city.

“I knew this present day could be coming, and at all times assumed I’d be indicted,” Kearney wrote. “However let me be very clear — I’m not deterred within the least. I can’t give in, I can’t give up, and I’ll by no means plea. I’ll combat these costs, I can be victorious, and it’ll go down within the historical past books as the best protection of the First Modification within the historical past of journalism.”

He claimed the Norfolk County District Lawyer’s Workplace is trying to silence him for his reporting on the Learn case, which spans 258 installments on the Turtleboy web site.

Learn is accused of killing her boyfriend, Boston police officer John O’Keefe, in January 2022. Prosecutors say she hit O’Keefe together with her SUV and left him to die exterior one other Boston officer’s residence in Canton, however Learn’s legal professionals argue that she’s being framed and that different visitors on the residence had been accountable. 

All through his blogs, social media posts, and in-person rallies, Kearney has adopted the protection group’s claims of a police coverup and promoted the idea that Learn was framed — a concept prosecutors have repeatedly denied.

Mello, a Fall River lawyer appointed by Norfolk District Lawyer Michael Morrissey, beforehand alleged that the blogger has visited witnesses’ properties, proven up and “made scenes” at their kids’s sporting occasions, and tried to confront them at their locations of labor. 

In a single notable occasion, Kearney allegedly conspired with an area police dispatcher in Avon to examine the registered house owners of autos that had been parked exterior the house of a Massachusetts State Police trooper who investigated O’Keefe’s loss of life. 

In a quick cellphone interview, Bradl stated Kearney’s superior court docket arraignment would possible occur someday later subsequent week, although the date remains to be up within the air. 

Pushing again on prosecutors’ claims, Bradl argued that Kearney’s actions fell underneath basic First Modification rights. He additional asserted that shifting the case to Norfolk Superior Court docket doesn’t strengthen prosecutors’ argument.

“The truth is, usually a defendant who in all probability shouldn’t have been indicted stands out as a small fish in superior court docket,” he stated.

Bradl added: “It is a delay tactic to maintain Mr. Kearney away from investigating the Learn case and to tug this case out so long as doable.”

Learn is about to go to trial in March. 

In his weblog submit Wednesday, Kearney asserted that prosecutors “wished to indict me earlier than Christmas as a result of Karen Learn’s trial date is lower than 3 months away, they usually know that they will be badly uncovered when that occurs.”

On X — the social media platform beforehand often called Twitter — he referenced latest stories that federal authorities are probing the state’s investigation within the Learn case. 

“I’m not in the slightest degree fearful, however I’d be if I had been them,” Kearney wrote in a single submit.