MA v Karen Read: trial of murderer or cover-up of murder

Posted on May 2, 2024 at 7:50 am

DEDHAM, Mass. (Court TV) – The high-profile trial of a Massachusetts woman accused of killing her police officer boyfriend is underway.

combo image by Karen Read and John Okeefe

(L) Karen Read appears in court on January 5, 2024. (Court TV), (R) Boston Police Officer John O’Keefe (Boston Police Department)

Karen Read is charged in the death of Boston Police Officer John O’Keefe, who was found dead in the snow outside a fellow officer’s home in January 2022. Prosecutors accuse Read of hitting O’Keefe with her car as she dropped him off. at a party at the residence and leaving him to die. Her lawyers claim there is a shoddy investigation and a cover-up.

RELATED | Karen Read murder case: a timeline of events

Read is charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter of a motor vehicle while driving under the influence and leaving the scene of a collision causing injury or death. She faces life in prison if convicted at trial.

RELATED | Key figures in the Karen Read murder case

Read’s case has attracted attention around the world with accusations of a police cover-up orchestrated by parties with “significant relationships”, alleged “romantic entanglements” involving Read and O’Keefe, and even a blogger who defended the charges against Read. Protesters have also taken center stage in their fight against a ‘buffer zone’, accusing the prosecutor of taking an ‘uncontrolled bend’.


DAY 3 – 5/2/24

  • The procedure will resume on Thursday, May 2.

DAY 2 – 4/30/24

  • Emergency responders at the scene say they saw Karen Read distraught as she tried to give CPR to John O’Keefe, who was already stiff and cold as he lay in a pool of blood when they arrived on the scene.
  • Firefighter Timothy Nuttall, who began ventilating him at the scene, testified that John O’Keefe appeared appropriately dressed for the cold snowy weather. Nuttall said O’Keefe’s hands were so stiff it was difficult to remove his jacket to get a better look at his injuries, which included a bloody nose, cuts to his arm, blood mucus and bile in his airways, which had to be suctioned out. before he could ventilate him.
  • Nuttall said during a break that Karen Read replied: “I hit him, I hit him.” A responding officer Steven Saraf said he heard her say, “This is my fault, I can’t believe this happened.”
  • The defense disputed their recollection of Read’s comments by pointing to previous statements they had made that seemed inconsistent with their testimony. Saraf called it a “mistake” that he had not included the confession in his report. Nuttall insisted the comment came from Read himself in response to his question. Another responding officer did not recall Read making the same statements, but did say she continued to shout, “Is he dead, is he dead?”
  • Two police officers who responded to the scene testified that after John O’Keefe was transferred to the ambulance, they did not observe any red plastic or broken taillight parts.
  • WATCH: Murder or Cover-Up Murder Trial: Day 2 Recap

DAY 1 – 4/29/24

  • In a sober opening statement, prosecutor Adam Lally said forensic evidence from Karen Read’s Lexus SUV, combined with O’Keefe’s injuries, proves Read hit him with her car, hit him again when he landed, and left to freeze to death. Lally said crime scene reconstruction data indicates Read’s car was traveling backwards 60 feet at a speed of 22 mph around the time she allegedly hit O’Keefe with her car.
    • Lally pointed to Read’s “repeated phraseology” of blaming herself with statements like “I hit him” as an admission of guilt.
  • Defense attorney David Yannetti said Read was framed and did not kill O’Keefe. Yannetti promised the jury that it wouldn’t be long before they questioned the reliability of evidence or witnesses in the “shoddy” and “biased” investigation led by Massachusetts State Trooper Michael Proctor, who Yannetti said had his sights on Read had targeted because of his personal ties to the Albert family.
    • Yannetti shared disturbing details about texts Proctor allegedly sent to friends as the investigation began. Proctor allegedly said he hoped Read would “commit suicide” and that he was trying to find nude photos of her on her phone. Proctor also reportedly said that the owner of the house where O’Keefe’s body was found would not get any grief because he too was a Boston police officer.
    • Yannetti said Proctor never looked at Albert’s home for signs of a struggle. The attorney accused Proctor of falsifying a report to give the wrong time for when he seized Read’s car. It was only after Proctor seized Read’s car that investigators at the scene began finding parts of the taillight, Yannetti said, noting that Proctor’s prints were also found on the evidence.
  • Paul O’Keefe, the victim’s brother, was the first witness for the prosecution.
    • John O’Keefe’s brother became emotional on the witness stand, describing his last text messages with his brother ‘Johnny’ and the condition of his body in hospital. Paul O’Keefe also narrated video from JOK’s security cameras that showed Read arriving, checking out of her vehicle and leaving. In between, Read collected her belongings from the house and left without saying anything to O’Keefe’s family, testified the witness, who said he once held Read in “high regard” for the way she helped his brother with his niece and nephew.
  • Erin O’Keefe, Paul’s wife and the victim’s sister-in-law, testified about her friendship with Karen Read.
    • John O’Keefe’s sister-in-law testified to possible signs of disagreement between Read and O’Keefe. Erin O’Keefe said Read told her about fights she had with O’Keefe in Aruba and the morning before O’Keefe died. After his body was found, Read allegedly said, “I don’t think I’ll ever see you guys again,” to which Erin said she replied, “Of course we will.” We are friends.”
    • Erin said that during a New Year’s Eve trip to Aruba, Read texted her to say she had an argument with O’Keefe after she allegedly saw him kissing the sister of a friend they were vacationing with.
    • Erin said that in describing what happened, Read “said she had to remember the bad times,” which seemed like an odd comment to her, but said Read had been medicated at the time.
  • Canton Police Officer Steven Saraf, the first officer to arrive on the scene that evening, testified that Karen Read was visibly upset and kept saying, “This is my fault, I did this.”
    • The first responding officer described the weather conditions the morning he responded to the scene. Officer Steve Saraf said he saw footprints around O’Keefe’s body, but none from the direction of the house.
    • Seraph saw footprints and tracks around O’Keefe’s body, but none came from the house.
    • The jury saw police dashcam footage showing Read pacing back and forth and shouting.
  • WATCH: Murder or cover-up murder trial: Day 1 recap
  • WATCH: Prosecutor vs. Defense: Who Had a Better Day in the Karen Read Trial?