world : What to Know About the Karen Read Trial 

Friday 14 June 2024 02:45 AM

Nafeza 2 world - A Massachusetts woman is currently on trial for allegedly killing her boyfriend in Jan. 2022 when authorities say she ran over him with her SUV, leaving him to die. 

Karen Read, 44, has been charged with the murder of 44-year-old John O’Keefe, a Boston police officer, in a case that has sparked great media attention, spawned conspiracy theories, and even prompted protests in support of Read. 

Internet blogger Turtleboy, also known as Aidan Kearney, has drawn attention to the case and publicly shown his support of the Read, but his involvement has been tainted with trouble as he currently faces charges of witness intimidation.

Since the trial began on April 16, prosecutors have presented evidence that they say pins Read to the crime, and cross-examined key witnesses like Jennifer McCabe, a friend of O’Keefe, who told the court that Read allegedly asked her to search how long it would take for someone to die in the cold.

Defense attorneys for Read, however, argue that O’Keefe died because of a fight that happened inside a friend’s home in Canton, Mass. where O’Keefe’s body was found. They’ve also alleged that police are trying to frame Read.

Read has pleaded not guilty to all charges and is out on $100,000 bail.

Here’s what to know about the case.  

Who is Karen Read? 

Read is facing charges for second-degree murder, manslaughter while under the influence, and leaving the scene of personal injury and death—to which she has pleaded not guilty. She was still in a relationship with O’Keefe at the time of his death, though court documents have shown that the relationship was strained. 

The day of O’Keefe’s death

Read and O’Keefe were out drinking at the Waterfall Bar and Grill in Canton, Mass., 20 miles outside of Boston, on Jan. 28, 2022 after a night out of drinking, according to court documents. Prosecutors say that Read then dropped O’Keefe off at the then-home of retired police officer Brian Albert in Canton. (Albert sold the home in 2023.) Albert testified on May 10 that neither O’Keefe or Read entered his house that night. 

In the early morning hours, Read allegedly left O’Keefe a voicemail saying that she hated him, according to court documents. At 4:23 a.m. Jennifer McCabe received a phone call informing her that Read was worried because O’Keefe was not responding to any calls and did not come home. About a half-hour later, prosecutors say Read called another woman whose spouse was friends with O’Keefe saying, “What if he's dead? What if a plow hit him?”

Read and two other women then went looking for O’Keefe. At about 6 a.m., Read called the Canton Police Department to report that she found O’Keefe lying in the snow outside of Albert’s home, according to court documents. The medical examiner found that O’Keefe died from blunt impact head injuries and hypothermia.  

Defense claims 

Read’s attorneys have argued that O’Keefe got into an argument with people inside Albert’s home and that his beaten body was later dumped outside. They have pointed to wounds on O’Keefe’s arms which they said were from a dog attack to try to substantiate their claims. They claim investigating officers are trying to frame Read for O’Keefe’s death.

Police also found red tail light pieces, a shoe, and clear plastic pieces at the scene, according to court documents. The defense alleges that the broken tail light on Read’s car occurred when she left her driveway and hit O’Keefe’s vehicle. A first responder testified in court in early May that Read was distraught and shouted “I hit him” when asked by paramedic Katie McLaughlin if there was any trauma that O’Keefe had endured, according to the Boston Globe

The defense also attempted to shroud the case in doubt after presenting text messages sent by lead investigator on the case, Massachusetts State Police Trooper Michael Proctor, that displayed the officer’s distaste for Read.

What did Michael Proctor say at the trial?

Proctor testified on Wednesday about inappropriate messages he sent regarding Read after O’Keefe’s death.

During the seventh week of the trial, it was revealed that Proctor had sent a text to his sister saying that he hopes Read kills herself. Proctor claimed that the message was a “figure of speech” while being cross examined by defense attorney Alan Jackson during the trial. Proctor also called Read a “whackjob” to others and texted his bosses that he had not found any nudes so far when looking through Read’s cellphone, according to court documents.

Massachusetts State Police Lt. Brian Tully said he was aware of the messages and had expressed his discontent with their unprofessional nature. Tully also reported the messages up the chain of command. 

"We followed the facts and evidence which showed Ms. Read hit Mr. O'Keefe with her vehicle. Yes, at times I got emotional because of that and I said some stuff, texted some things I shouldn't have. But it was based off [of] the evidence," Proctor said in court. "These juvenile, unprofessional comments have zero impact on the facts and the evidence and the integrity of this investigation.”

Proctor is currently under investigation by the Massachusetts State Police—though it is not clear why. He has said that the messages were “unprofessional and regrettable.”

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