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Karen Read is going to trial. What to know and what to expect
Karen Read is going to trial. What to know and what to expect
Karen Read is going to trial. What to know and what to expect

Published on: 04/12/2024


Jury selection is set to begin next week in the case of a Mansfield woman accused of killing her Boston police officer boyfriend, 46-year-old Braintree native John O'Keefe, with her SUV outside of a Canton home in January of 2022.

It is a case of demonstrators, cover-up theories and many court motions. Often at the center of the story is a blogger named Turtleboy.

The jury selection in the trial of Karen Read, 44. is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, April 16, at the Norfolk Superior Courthouse in Denham.

She has been charged with second degree murder in the death of her boyfriend, O'Keefe, after his body was found in the driveway outside the Canton home of a fellow Boston police officer on Jan 29, 2022.

She was arrested shortly after and indicted on the charge in Norfolk County Superior Court in June 2022.

Read and O'Keefe had been drinking heavily at a bar before she dropped him off at the Fairview Lane Home in Canton.

Prosecutors say Read backed into O'Keefe with her SUV as she was leaving the home. She drove back to Canton several hours later after she said she was unable to reach him by phone.

While Read reportedly told police, "I killed him. I killed him. I killed him" when his body was discovered, her defense team has since alleged that they believer O'Keefe went into the home after Read drove off and got into a fight with people inside. They said wounds on O'Keefe's body suggest he was also attacked by a dog in the house.

The defense claims O'Keefe was subsequently placed in the driveway in the frigid weather to cover up what had happened.

Prosecutors said an examination of O'Keefe's body did not find any canine DNA.

Read's attorneys sought to have the criminal charges dismissed last month on the grounds that District Attorney Michael Morrissey was unethical, including not disclosing possible conflicts of interests with local law enforcement and potential witnesses, and withholding evidence to the grand jury to make its case against Read, WCVB reported.

Judge Beverly Cannone denied the request.

According to prosecutors, evidence in the case includes pieces of the cracked taillight from Read's SUV found by Massachusetts State Police. The prosecution also said that the Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory found O'Keefe's DNA on that broken taillight and pieces of red plastic consistent with Read's taillight on O'Keefe's clothing. 

Prosecutors have also said human hair found on the back of Read's SUV is being tested. 

Read's lawyers said a DNA expert they hired said hair on Read's taillight was not human, They also claim a federal probe into the case contradicts the state's claims related to the broken taillight.

The prosecution said it is still waiting on mitochondrial DNA testing of a hair sample found on the back of Read's SUV.

Read is free on $80,000 bail.

her bail had been set at $50,000 when she was first arrested. It had been set at $100,000 following her initial arraignment in early February. Judge Cannone reduced that amount to $80,000 shortly after.

Her lawyers made an unsuccessful bid this past September to drop the bail entirely and remain free on personal recognizance pending the outcome of the case.

Jackson estimated that if the prosecution's case takes three or four weeks to present, the defense could need two more weeks for their side of the case.

Aidan Kearney, a Holden resident who blogs under the name "Turtleboy," has been a key voice in amplifying Read's claims of a cover-up.

Kearney was arrested on 16 witness intimidation charges in December in connection the case. He was arrested on a domestic abuse a few days later against his ex-girlfriend, who is also a potential witness in the case.

The arrest violated his conditions of release on the previous intimidation charges. He was rearrested and spent time in jail but has since been released.

Court documents submitted by the prosecutions showed Read and Kearney had been in far more frequent contact than either has admitted.

In addition, a Massachusetts state trooper is under investigation in connection with the investigation into the case, although the details have not been made public.

Demonstrators outside during the upcoming murder trial against Karen Read will need to stay at least 200 feet away from the courthouse, Judge Cannone ruled on Thursday, April 4. The state had asked for a 500-foot buffer zone.

A "Free Karen Read" movement has been active outside the courthouse since Read's arrest shortly after O'Keefe's death.

While the buttons, signs and clothing will still be allowed outside, megaphones, which have been used during the protests, will not be allowed, according to Cannone's order.

Her order also prohibits such displays inside the courthouse when Read's trial begins April 16. Law enforcement members who are either attending or testifying at the trial will be prohibited from wearing their uniforms.

Read's defense and prosecutors have repeatedly disagreed about the time that a witness used their cellphone to search “hos [sic] long to die in cold." Her defense said that the search was entered at approximately 2:30 a.m., hours before the body was found, but the prosecution wrote in their new filing that three experts agree it was done at approximately 6:23 a.m., after O'Keefe was found.

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