Boston Cop John O’Keefe’s Trial Begins


(Truth Voices) — The trial of a Massachusetts woman accused of killing her police officer boyfriend by striking him with her vehicle and leaving him for dead during a snowstorm in 2022 is completing its fourth week.

Karen Read, 45, has pleaded not guilty to felony charges, including second-degree murder, in connection with the death of Boston cop John O’Keefe, 46.

The case and the ongoing criminal trial in Boston have garnered plenty of attention, both from the media and the general public. While prosecutors allege a stormy relationship and a night of drinking led to O’Keefe’s death, the defense maintains Read has been framed, which also remains the contention of a support group that maintains Read is innocent.

Here’s what you need to know about the case as it enters its second month.

What is Karen Read accused of?

Read, who lives in Mansfield, Mass., is accused of fatally striking O’Keefe with her SUV while dropping O’Keefe off at a friend’s house after a night of drinking on Jan. 29, 2022.

Read was arrested and subsequently charged with second-degree murder, vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and leaving the scene of a collision causing injury or death.

O’Keefe was found unresponsive in a snowbank outside of a fellow police officer’s home in suburban Boston. He was later pronounced dead at a local hospital after suffering from hypothermia and a head injury, officials said.

Prosecutors in the case maintain Read and O’Keefe were together at two different bars drinking before Read dropped her boyfriend off. Read is alleged to have struck O’Keefe while making a three-point turn and leaving the scene of the crash.

She told police that she did not see O’Keefe enter the house, but prosecutors have introduced evidence suggesting that Read wondered out loud to friends that she could have struck O’Keefe with her vehicle.

Read later discovered O’Keefe’s body in a snowbank near where he was struck after she woke up on her couch around 4 a.m. when she realized O’Keefe had not returned home.

Prosecutors said that Read intentionally struck O’Keefe, alleging that the relationship between the two had soured in the month leading up to O’Keefe’s death.

The Commonwealth has introduced text messages into evidence during the trial that prosecutors insist offer proof that strife existed between O’Keefe and Read. According to court records, Read sent O’Keefe a text message just hours before he died that indicated she hated him.

Witnesses in the trial have testified that the two argued regularly and that at least one family member of O’Keefe’s family witnessed a fight in which Read complained about how she was treated.

What is Karen Read’s defense?

To counter the prosecution’s insistence O’Keefe was intentionally struck, Read’s defense attorneys say their client is innocent and that she is the victim of a police cover-up over what actually happened.

Read has maintained her innocence since she was charged, telling ABC News in a televised interview, “I did not kill John O’Keefe. I have never harmed a hair on John O’Keefe’s head.”

Meanwhile, Read’s defense team alleges that several other officers are behind O’Keefe’s death and have colluded with other officers to cover up the death.

In response, the prosecution alleges any cover-up among police officials.

“There was no conspiracy or cover-up,” prosecutors told ABC News in an issued statement. “Such claims have been systematically refuted by evidence submitted to Norfolk Superior Court.”

What is “Free Karen Read”?

A group of supporters that maintain Read’s innocence have gathered outside of the courthouse throughout the first four weeks of the trial.

The group, which arrives at protests wearing “Free Karen Read” T-shirts and carrying signs, is required to remain at least 200 feet from the courthouse and inside a buffer zone set up by the trial judge to maintain an unbiased jury.

The group fought against a motion brought by prosecutors before the trial began, which ultimately led to the buffer zone being established. Prosecutors were also seeking to ban T-shirts and other signs that read “Free Karen Read” to avoid impacting jurors.

Those who are part of the group feel as if they are being persecuted by prosecutors.

“My first reaction was literally, ‘What?’” rally organizer Paul Cristoforo told NBC Boston. “The commonwealth is calling it a ‘buffer zone,’ but they might as well call it a restraining order against the citizens of Massachusetts because that’s exactly what it is.”

Jeff Arnold
Jeff Arnold
Digital Reporter. Jeff provides original reporting on a number of national topics impacting everyday Americans in a fair and accurate manner.

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