Sun. Jul 21st, 2024


SCOLDED KAREN REED AT ONE POINT ANTOINETTE GOOD MORNING. SHE DID. IT CERTAINLY WAS TENSE. IT WAS THE KIND OF TONE WE HAVEN’T SEEN MUCH FROM THE COURT IN THIS CASE. AS FOR WHAT PRECIPITATED IT, DEFENSE ATTORNEY ALAN JACKSON AND JUDGE BEVERLY CANNON WERE IN A HEATED EXCHANGE ABOUT THIS VERDICT FORM THAT THE JURY WILL EVENTUALLY FILL OUT WHEN THE JUDGE SAW SOMETHING THAT MADE HER SAY THIS. EXCUSE ME. THIS IS FUNNY, MISS REED. ALL RIGHT, WE’RE DONE. ALL RISE TO THE COURT, PLEASE. THE JURY WAS NOT IN THE COURTROOM AT THE TIME, AND REED’S FACE WAS OUT OF SIGHT OF THE COURTROOM CAMERA. REED’S ATTORNEY WAS ARGUING TO THE COURT ABOUT AN ISSUE WITH THE VERDICT FORM PROVIDED TO THE JURY. THE MANSLAUGHTER FORM INCLUDES A NOT GUILTY CHECKBOX FOR THE MAIN CHARGE, BUT THE DEFENSE WAS ARGUING THAT NOT GUILTY BOXES SHOULD ALSO BE AVAILABLE FOR THE TWO LESSER CHARGES INCLUDED WITHIN MANSLAUGHTER. JUDGE CANNON DISMISSED THE ATTORNEYS AT THE TIME, BUT LATER CALLED THEM BACK AND AGREED TO CHANGE THE FORM TO READ NOT GUILTY OF THE OFFENSE CHARGED OR ANY LESSER OFFENSES. SHE ALSO GAVE THE JURY NEW INSTRUCTIONS FOR HOW TO CONSIDER THE MANSLAUGHTER CHARGE. AT ONE POINT YESTERDAY, THE JURY SENT A QUESTION TO THE COURT ASKING TO SEE A STATE POLICE REPORT FROM THE TEAM THAT SEARCHED THE SCENE WHERE JOHN O’KEEFE WAS FOUND UNCONSCIOUS ON JANUARY 29TH, 2022, IN CANTON. THE JUDGE TOLD THEM THAT WAS NOT PART OF THE EVIDENCE. THE EVIDENCE IS CLOSED IN THIS CASE AND THEY HAVE ALL OF THE EVIDENCE THEY NEED IN ORDER TO REACH A VERDICT DELIBERATIONS RESUME AT 9 A.M., REPORTING LIVE AT NORFOLK SUPERIOR COURT IN

Karen Read trial: Jurors enter third day of deliberations

Read is accused of killing her boyfriend, John O’Keefe, with an SUV during a winter storm

A jury of six women and six men will resume deliberations Thursday in the murder trial of Karen Read, the Massachusetts woman accused of hitting John O’Keefe, her boyfriend, with an SUV and leaving him to die in a snowstorm.Read, 44, of Mansfield, is accused of hitting O’Keefe with her black SUV outside of a home at 34 Fairview Road in Canton on Jan. 29, 2022, following a night of drinking. Her defense contends O’Keefe was dragged outside after he was beaten up in the basement and bitten by a dog at Boston officer Brian Albert’s home in Canton. During deliberations Wednesday, Judge Beverly Cannone read a question submitted by the jury about a report from the Special Emergency Response Team, which is a unit of the Massachusetts State Police. “Can we request the SERT report detailing the search performed?” Cannone read. “You have all the evidence in this case. You won’t be receiving any additional evidence.”Read, a former adjunct professor at Bentley College, pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, along with manslaughter while operating under the influence of alcohol and leaving a scene of personal injury and death. The manslaughter charge carries a penalty of five to 20 years in prison, and the other charge has a maximum penalty of 10 years.Her case has been surrounded by a media storm, underpinned by a distrust of police and fanned by crime bloggers. Live updates: 9:08 a.m. The jury confirms they have not discussed the case with anyone outside of themselves since yesterday. One of the alternate jurors is wearing a bright pink dress, the same color Read supporters are wearing outside. She’s the same alternate who seemed to be crying yesterday.9:05 a.m. After asking the standard questions, Judge Cannone sends the jury to resume their work. 9:03 a.m. The jury enters. Here comes the judge.9:01 a.m. The courtroom is open. Read and her three attorneys are sitting at the defense table. Her family and friends are sitting behind her. The O’Keefe family enters, led by John’s brother Paul. Here come the two prosecutors. Still no judge or jury.8:55 a.m. Judge Cannone & Read’s attorneys also came to a compromise yesterday about the language on the verdict slip for the vehicular manslaughter/OUI charge. During a heated discussion about that issue, the judge rebuked the defendant by saying, “Excuse me, this is funny, Ms Read?”8:50 a.m. G’morning. Day 3 of deliberations. The jury has deliberated for about 9 hours over the past two days. Yesterday they asked for a report by the state police team that searched the scene after O’Keefe died. The judge said they already have all the available evidence. Follow posts from reporter David BienickRelated links:Recap of testimony, evidence from each day of the case Evidence slideshowWhat to know about the case:Karen Read, 44, of Mansfield, is accused of second-degree murder and other charges. The prosecution says she hit her boyfriend, Boston police officer John O’Keefe, with her vehicle outside of a home in Canton during a snowstorm on Jan. 29, 2022, following a night of drinking. She returned hours later to find him in a snowbank.Read has pleaded not guilty.Read and her defense team claim she is the victim of a cover-up and plan to present a third-party culprit defense. They claim O’Keefe was beaten inside the home, bitten by a dog, and then left outside.In pretrial motions, prosecutors revealed the existence of text messages they said suggested a “romantic entanglement” with a friend who was present at locations Read and O’Keefe visited on the night of the incident. Other documents have also suggested trouble in the relationship between Read and O’Keefe.Read is also accused of having frequent contact with a controversial blogger known as “Turtleboy,” Aiden Kearney, who now faces charges in related cases.Opening statements were delivered on April 29 and closing arguments were delivered on June 25. The defense, which was allowed to present what is called third-party culprit evidence, argues that investigators focused on Read because she was a “convenient outsider” who saved them from having to consider other suspects. Those they have implicated include Albert, who owned the home in Canton where O’Keefe died, and Brian Higgins, an ATF agent who was there that night.Higgins testified about a “romantic” encounter and a series of text messages he exchanged with Read. In those flirty messages, Read told him that O’Keefe had “hooked up” with another woman during a vacation.Trooper Michael Proctor, the lead investigator in the case, acknowledged during his testimony that he was friends with several witnesses, including the brother of the man who hosted the house party where O’Keefe’s body was found outside. The defense also criticized Proctor for sharing details of the investigation with friends and family on text exchanges and for texts in which he appeared to single out Karen Read as responsible for O’Keefe’s death less than 24 hours after his body was found.Proctor acknowledged to the jury that he called Read a series of names, including “wack job” in texts to friends, family and fellow troopers. Proctor also repeatedly apologized for language used in text exchanges, saying they were “something I am not proud of and I shouldn’t have wrote in private or any type of setting.” But he insisted the comments had no influence on the investigation. The defense is trying to convince the jury that O’Keefe was beaten and suggested that Colin Albert had been in a fight. Albert said a hand injury came when he fell in a driveway and that he never saw O’Keefe during the celebration of his cousin’s birthday on the night in question.He also confirmed on cross-examination that he has known Proctor since he was a child. A former Massachusetts police toxicologist, Nicholas Roberts, testified that Read’s blood alcohol content at 9 a.m. was between .078% and .083%, right around the legal limit for intoxication in Massachusetts. Based on a police report that suggested her last drink was at 12:45 a.m., her peak blood alcohol level would have been between .135% and .292%, he said.O’Keefe had been raising his niece and nephew, and they told jurors that they heard frequent arguments between him and Read. Both of the teenagers described an incident in which O’Keefe asked Read to leave the house and she refused.The trial’s first few days detailed the futile efforts of first responders to save O’Keefe. They found him face up when they arrived just before dawn on Jan. 29. He was pronounced dead at the hospital, and an autopsy later found he died of hypothermia and blunt force trauma. Several of the first responders said they heard Read make statements, including, “I hit him,” after O’Keefe was found. Defense attorneys confronted several of those witnesses by asking why those alleged remarks were not included in official reports.Officers also testified about unusual procedures used during the investigation, including the decision to collect bloody snow in red plastic cups and clearing snow from the crime scene.One of the final witnesses was a retired forensic pathologist who testified Monday that some of O’Keefe’s injuries were inconsistent with being struck by the Lexus SUV.Dr. Frank Sheridan, who worked previously as chief medical examiner for San Bernardino County in California, testified he would’ve expected more bruising if O’Keefe had been hit by such a heavy vehicle. He also suggested that scratch marks on his arm could’ve come from an animal, possibly a dog, and that other injuries were consistent with an altercation.Two witnesses from an independent consulting firm that conducts forensic engineering also suggested some of the evidence doesn’t line up with the prosecution version. “You can’t deny the science and the physics,” Andrew Rentschler from ARCCA, testified at one point. ARCCA was hired by the FBI as part of a federal investigation into state law enforcement’s handling of the Read case.One juror was dismissed Tuesday morning, causing a delay of over an hour in the planned start of closing arguments.When the closing arguments finally began, defense attorney Alan Jackson told the jury, “You have been lied to.” He argued that evidence, including an inverted video of Read’s SUV in the Canton Police Department’s garage, was intentionally manipulated by an investigation that sought to protect other members of the law enforcement community.“Ladies and gentlemen, there was a cover-up in this case, plain and simple,” Jackson said.Prosecutor Adam Lally offered jurors a timeline, paired with evidence numbers, documenting their theory of the case. He also opened his presentation by quoting numerous first responders who testified that they heard Read say, “I hit him.”“Those were the words that came from the defendant’s mouth,” Lally said.He also pointed to a seething voicemail message Read left for O’Keefe moments after data from her car shows she reversed at approximately 24 mph and then drove away.“The defendant leaves that voicemail, seething in rage as she’s screaming, ‘John, I (expletive) hate you!’”The defense said witnesses who claimed to have heard her say she hit O’Keefe had changed their story or couldn’t have heard the comments due to the chaotic scene. Jackson said investigators focused on Read because she was a “convenient outsider” who saved them from having to consider other suspects, including Albert and other law enforcement officers who were at the party. In particular, they highlighted connections between Albert and the state trooper leading the investigation.“Michael Proctor didn’t draw a thin blue line; he erected a tall blue wall,” Jackson said. “A wall that you can’t scale, a wall that Karen Read certainly couldn’t get over. A wall between us and them. A place you folk are not invited. We protect our own.”Although Read has said she was willing to testify, she never took the stand in her own defense.The Associated Press contributed to this report.

A jury of six women and six men will resume deliberations Thursday in the murder trial of Karen Read, the Massachusetts woman accused of hitting John O’Keefe, her boyfriend, with an SUV and leaving him to die in a snowstorm.

Read, 44, of Mansfield, is accused of hitting O’Keefe with her black SUV outside of a home at 34 Fairview Road in Canton on Jan. 29, 2022, following a night of drinking. Her defense contends O’Keefe was dragged outside after he was beaten up in the basement and bitten by a dog at Boston officer Brian Albert’s home in Canton.

During deliberations Wednesday, Judge Beverly Cannone read a question submitted by the jury about a report from the Special Emergency Response Team, which is a unit of the Massachusetts State Police.

“Can we request the SERT report detailing the search performed?” Cannone read. “You have all the evidence in this case. You won’t be receiving any additional evidence.”

Read, a former adjunct professor at Bentley College, pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, along with manslaughter while operating under the influence of alcohol and leaving a scene of personal injury and death. The manslaughter charge carries a penalty of five to 20 years in prison, and the other charge has a maximum penalty of 10 years.

Her case has been surrounded by a media storm, underpinned by a distrust of police and fanned by crime bloggers.


Live updates:

  • 9:08 a.m. The jury confirms they have not discussed the case with anyone outside of themselves since yesterday. One of the alternate jurors is wearing a bright pink dress, the same color Read supporters are wearing outside. She’s the same alternate who seemed to be crying yesterday.
  • 9:05 a.m. After asking the standard questions, Judge Cannone sends the jury to resume their work.
  • 9:03 a.m. The jury enters. Here comes the judge.
  • 9:01 a.m. The courtroom is open. Read and her three attorneys are sitting at the defense table. Her family and friends are sitting behind her. The O’Keefe family enters, led by John’s brother Paul. Here come the two prosecutors. Still no judge or jury.
  • 8:55 a.m. Judge Cannone & Read’s attorneys also came to a compromise yesterday about the language on the verdict slip for the vehicular manslaughter/OUI charge. During a heated discussion about that issue, the judge rebuked the defendant by saying, “Excuse me, this is funny, Ms Read?”
  • 8:50 a.m. G’morning. Day 3 of deliberations. The jury has deliberated for about 9 hours over the past two days. Yesterday they asked for a report by the state police team that searched the scene after O’Keefe died. The judge said they already have all the available evidence.
  • Follow posts from reporter David Bienick

Related links:

What to know about the case:

  • Karen Read, 44, of Mansfield, is accused of second-degree murder and other charges. The prosecution says she hit her boyfriend, Boston police officer John O’Keefe, with her vehicle outside of a home in Canton during a snowstorm on Jan. 29, 2022, following a night of drinking. She returned hours later to find him in a snowbank.
  • Read has pleaded not guilty.
  • Read and her defense team claim she is the victim of a cover-up and plan to present a third-party culprit defense. They claim O’Keefe was beaten inside the home, bitten by a dog, and then left outside.
  • In pretrial motions, prosecutors revealed the existence of text messages they said suggested a “romantic entanglement” with a friend who was present at locations Read and O’Keefe visited on the night of the incident. Other documents have also suggested trouble in the relationship between Read and O’Keefe.
  • Read is also accused of having frequent contact with a controversial blogger known as “Turtleboy,” Aiden Kearney, who now faces charges in related cases.
  • Opening statements were delivered on April 29 and closing arguments were delivered on June 25.

The defense, which was allowed to present what is called third-party culprit evidence, argues that investigators focused on Read because she was a “convenient outsider” who saved them from having to consider other suspects. Those they have implicated include Albert, who owned the home in Canton where O’Keefe died, and Brian Higgins, an ATF agent who was there that night.

Higgins testified about a “romantic” encounter and a series of text messages he exchanged with Read. In those flirty messages, Read told him that O’Keefe had “hooked up” with another woman during a vacation.

Witness Brian Higgins answers a question from prosecutor Adam Lally regarding text messages between Higgins and defendant Karen Read, during Read's trial in Norfolk Superior Court, Friday, May 24, 2024, in Dedham, Mass. Read, 44, is accused of running into her Boston police officer boyfriend with her SUV in the middle of a nor'easter and leaving him for dead after a night of heavy drinking. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, Pool)

AP Photo/Charles Krupa, Pool

Witness Brian Higgins answers a question from prosecutor Adam Lally.

Trooper Michael Proctor, the lead investigator in the case, acknowledged during his testimony that he was friends with several witnesses, including the brother of the man who hosted the house party where O’Keefe’s body was found outside. The defense also criticized Proctor for sharing details of the investigation with friends and family on text exchanges and for texts in which he appeared to single out Karen Read as responsible for O’Keefe’s death less than 24 hours after his body was found.

Proctor acknowledged to the jury that he called Read a series of names, including “wack job” in texts to friends, family and fellow troopers. Proctor also repeatedly apologized for language used in text exchanges, saying they were “something I am not proud of and I shouldn’t have wrote in private or any type of setting.” But he insisted the comments had no influence on the investigation.

karen read speaks to attorney alan jackson

Hearst Owned

Officer John O’Keefe

The defense is trying to convince the jury that O’Keefe was beaten and suggested that Colin Albert had been in a fight. Albert said a hand injury came when he fell in a driveway and that he never saw O’Keefe during the celebration of his cousin’s birthday on the night in question.

He also confirmed on cross-examination that he has known Proctor since he was a child.

Witness Colin Albert takes the stand during Karen Read's murder trail at Dedham Superior Court on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Dedham, Mass. Read is facing charges including second degree murder in the 2022 death of her boyfriend Boston Officer John O’Keefe. (Greg Derr/The Patriot Ledger via AP, Pool)

Greg Derr

Witness Colin Albert takes the stand.

A former Massachusetts police toxicologist, Nicholas Roberts, testified that Read’s blood alcohol content at 9 a.m. was between .078% and .083%, right around the legal limit for intoxication in Massachusetts. Based on a police report that suggested her last drink was at 12:45 a.m., her peak blood alcohol level would have been between .135% and .292%, he said.

O’Keefe had been raising his niece and nephew, and they told jurors that they heard frequent arguments between him and Read. Both of the teenagers described an incident in which O’Keefe asked Read to leave the house and she refused.

The trial’s first few days detailed the futile efforts of first responders to save O’Keefe. They found him face up when they arrived just before dawn on Jan. 29. He was pronounced dead at the hospital, and an autopsy later found he died of hypothermia and blunt force trauma.

Several of the first responders said they heard Read make statements, including, “I hit him,” after O’Keefe was found. Defense attorneys confronted several of those witnesses by asking why those alleged remarks were not included in official reports.

Officers also testified about unusual procedures used during the investigation, including the decision to collect bloody snow in red plastic cups and clearing snow from the crime scene.

One of the final witnesses was a retired forensic pathologist who testified Monday that some of O’Keefe’s injuries were inconsistent with being struck by the Lexus SUV.

Dr. Frank Sheridan, who worked previously as chief medical examiner for San Bernardino County in California, testified he would’ve expected more bruising if O’Keefe had been hit by such a heavy vehicle. He also suggested that scratch marks on his arm could’ve come from an animal, possibly a dog, and that other injuries were consistent with an altercation.

Two witnesses from an independent consulting firm that conducts forensic engineering also suggested some of the evidence doesn’t line up with the prosecution version. “You can’t deny the science and the physics,” Andrew Rentschler from ARCCA, testified at one point. ARCCA was hired by the FBI as part of a federal investigation into state law enforcement’s handling of the Read case.

One juror was dismissed Tuesday morning, causing a delay of over an hour in the planned start of closing arguments.

When the closing arguments finally began, defense attorney Alan Jackson told the jury, “You have been lied to.” He argued that evidence, including an inverted video of Read’s SUV in the Canton Police Department’s garage, was intentionally manipulated by an investigation that sought to protect other members of the law enforcement community.

“Ladies and gentlemen, there was a cover-up in this case, plain and simple,” Jackson said.

Prosecutor Adam Lally offered jurors a timeline, paired with evidence numbers, documenting their theory of the case. He also opened his presentation by quoting numerous first responders who testified that they heard Read say, “I hit him.”

“Those were the words that came from the defendant’s mouth,” Lally said.

He also pointed to a seething voicemail message Read left for O’Keefe moments after data from her car shows she reversed at approximately 24 mph and then drove away.

“The defendant leaves that voicemail, seething in rage as she’s screaming, ‘John, I (expletive) hate you!’”

The defense said witnesses who claimed to have heard her say she hit O’Keefe had changed their story or couldn’t have heard the comments due to the chaotic scene. Jackson said investigators focused on Read because she was a “convenient outsider” who saved them from having to consider other suspects, including Albert and other law enforcement officers who were at the party. In particular, they highlighted connections between Albert and the state trooper leading the investigation.

“Michael Proctor didn’t draw a thin blue line; he erected a tall blue wall,” Jackson said. “A wall that you can’t scale, a wall that Karen Read certainly couldn’t get over. A wall between us and them. A place you folk are not invited. We protect our own.”

Although Read has said she was willing to testify, she never took the stand in her own defense.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.






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