Karen Read deliberations will resume Monday


Jurors resumed deliberating Monday in the trial of Karen Read, the Massachusetts woman accused of hitting her boyfriend John O’Keefe with an SUV and leaving him to die in a snowstorm, after telling a judge on Friday they were unable to reach a unanimous decision.The jury of six women and six men worked for more than 20 hours last week and resumed deliberations at 9 a.m. Monday. 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. Just before noon on Friday, the court clerk said the jury had a question, which was later revealed to be about not being able to reach a verdict. “I am writing to inform you on behalf of the jury that despite our exhaustive review of the evidence and our diligent consideration of all disputed evidence we have been unable to reach a unanimous verdict,” Judge Beverly Cannone read from the note from the jury foreperson.Video: Karen Read jury tells judge they are deadlocked during 4th day of deliberations”Simply hasn’t been sufficient time yet,” prosecutor Adam Lally said. “The note doesn’t really indicate affirmatively that they can’t come to a conclusion, it just says they haven’t come to a conclusion through their deliberative process at this time.”The defense, however, disagreed. “They’re communicating to the court that they’ve exhausted all manner of compromise, all manner of persuasion, and they’re at an impasse,” defense attorney David Yanetti said. Cannone, citing the duration of the trial and the length of time spent deliberating, told the jury to go back and continue discussions. “We all know how hard you’ve been working. Lunch will be arriving shortly. When it comes, I ask you to clear your heads, have lunch and begin your deliberations again — or continue your deliberations. So, I’m sending you back out,” she said.A few hours later, at 4:15 p.m., the jury went home for the weekend. If they are still unable to reach a unanimous verdict, the next step for the judge would be to issue what’s known as the Tuey-Rodriguez instructions.”It’s really a blast to the jury to say, consider the other side of the person opposite you and see if you cannot reach a conclusion that’s unanimous,” explained former Attorney General Martha Coakley.”The three options: the prosecution either drops the case totally; they decide to retry the case –even if they drop some of the charges; and the third, they can try to offer some sort of plea offer or agreement,” said defense attorney Peter Elikann.However, if the jury returns again to say they are still deadlocked, the judge must declare a hung jury and dismiss them. 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. 9:07 a.m.: Reminder: The jury has no access to transcripts of witnesses’ testimony. They must rely on their memories and personal notes. If jurors disagree about what a witness said, there’s no way to check. 9:05 a.m.: The court officers wheel the evidence boxes and bags through the hall. We can’t actually see the deliberations room door. It’s in a part of the courthouse off limits to the public.9:03 a.m.: For what it’s worth, several jurors seem to be dressed in black and for the first time the foreman was wearing a tie.9:01 a.m.: The judge asks her standard questions and sends the jury back into deliberations.8:59 a.m.: The jury enters. The judge is on the bench.8:57 a.m.: We’ve reassembled in the courtroom with the lawyers and families. Waiting on the jury and the judge. 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, argued 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.When the closing arguments 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.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.

Jurors resumed deliberating Monday in the trial of Karen Read, the Massachusetts woman accused of hitting her boyfriend John O’Keefe with an SUV and leaving him to die in a snowstorm, after telling a judge on Friday they were unable to reach a unanimous decision.

The jury of six women and six men worked for more than 20 hours last week and resumed deliberations at 9 a.m. Monday.

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.

Just before noon on Friday, the court clerk said the jury had a question, which was later revealed to be about not being able to reach a verdict.

“I am writing to inform you on behalf of the jury that despite our exhaustive review of the evidence and our diligent consideration of all disputed evidence we have been unable to reach a unanimous verdict,” Judge Beverly Cannone read from the note from the jury foreperson.

Video: Karen Read jury tells judge they are deadlocked during 4th day of deliberations

“Simply hasn’t been sufficient time yet,” prosecutor Adam Lally said. “The note doesn’t really indicate affirmatively that they can’t come to a conclusion, it just says they haven’t come to a conclusion through their deliberative process at this time.”

The defense, however, disagreed.

“They’re communicating to the court that they’ve exhausted all manner of compromise, all manner of persuasion, and they’re at an impasse,” defense attorney David Yanetti said.

Cannone, citing the duration of the trial and the length of time spent deliberating, told the jury to go back and continue discussions.

“We all know how hard you’ve been working. Lunch will be arriving shortly. When it comes, I ask you to clear your heads, have lunch and begin your deliberations again — or continue your deliberations. So, I’m sending you back out,” she said.

A few hours later, at 4:15 p.m., the jury went home for the weekend.

If they are still unable to reach a unanimous verdict, the next step for the judge would be to issue what’s known as the Tuey-Rodriguez instructions.

“It’s really a blast to the jury to say, consider the other side of the person opposite you and see if you cannot reach a conclusion that’s unanimous,” explained former Attorney General Martha Coakley.

“The three options: the prosecution either drops the case totally; they decide to retry the case –even if they drop some of the charges; and the third, they can try to offer some sort of plea offer or agreement,” said defense attorney Peter Elikann.

However, if the jury returns again to say they are still deadlocked, the judge must declare a hung jury and dismiss them.

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.


  • 9:07 a.m.: Reminder: The jury has no access to transcripts of witnesses’ testimony. They must rely on their memories and personal notes. If jurors disagree about what a witness said, there’s no way to check.
  • 9:05 a.m.: The court officers wheel the evidence boxes and bags through the hall. We can’t actually see the deliberations room door. It’s in a part of the courthouse off limits to the public.
  • 9:03 a.m.: For what it’s worth, several jurors seem to be dressed in black and for the first time the foreman was wearing a tie.
  • 9:01 a.m.: The judge asks her standard questions and sends the jury back into deliberations.
  • 8:59 a.m.: The jury enters. The judge is on the bench.
  • 8:57 a.m.: We’ve reassembled in the courtroom with the lawyers and families. Waiting on the jury and the judge.
  • 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, argued 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&apos&#x3B;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&apos&#x3B;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.

When the closing arguments 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.

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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