Jury Deadlocked in Murder Trial of Karen Read, Accused of Killing Boyfriend


A Massachusetts court is facing a potential retrial after jurors in the trial of Karen Read, accused of killing her boyfriend, John O’Keeffe, failed to reach a verdict. The jury has been deliberating for 20 hours and 53 minutes since Thursday, but was forced to continue deliberating on Friday with the guidance of Judge Beverly Cannone, who wants to see the discussion continue before considering a hung jury.

Read, who is charged with second-degree murder and other crimes, could potentially face life in prison with parole if convicted. Prosecutors claim Read hit O’Keeffe with her SUV outside a friend’s house on a snowy night in January 2022 after a night of drinking. Defense lawyers, however, argue that O’Keeffe was killed during a fight at the same house and then dumped on the lawn.

During the trial, prosecutors relied on reported statements made by Read after O’Keeffe’s body was found, where she allegedly said “I hit him, I hit him, Oh my god, I hit him.” Defense attorney Alan Jackson accused the prosecution of relying on flawed information and attempting to deceive the jury. Read’s supporters, who have dressed in pink outside the courthouse throughout the trial, believe she is innocent and say the prosecution’s case is flimsy.

The trial has highlighted concerns about police misconduct in some quarters, with defense lawyers questioning the integrity of the investigation. Former law enforcement official Dave Aronberg, now the state attorney for Palm Beach County, weighed in on the case, saying that if the jury finds Read not guilty, it would be in effect endorsing a conspiracy theory.

The case has divided the community, with some residents expressing disgust at the allegations while others rallied around Read, saying that she has been unfairly targeted and that the prosecution’s case lacks real evidence. The jury is set to continue deliberating on Monday, after which a verdict is expected to be rendered.

Evan Lambert
Evan Lambert
Washington Correspondent. Evan Lambert is an Emmy-nominated and award-winning journalist, who has reported local and national news stories in the nation’s capital since 2017. He has more than a decade of professional experience. Evan is a proud graduate of the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

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