Karen Read

Karen Read and John O'Keefe argued in messages, but does that help the case?

The messages between the couple were revealed during the testimony of Massachusetts State Police forensic expert Trooper Nicholas Guarino Monday afternoon.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Phone records discussed in the Karen Read trial on Monday reveal a rocky relationship between the defendant and John O'Keefe and an argument just hours before his body was found in the snow on Jan. 29, 2022. But whether that will be enough to forward the prosecution's case remains to be seen.

Read is accused of hitting and killing O'Keefe with her SUV in front of a home in Canton, Massachusetts. Her defense maintains she is being framed as part of a large-scale coverup.



Watch NBC10 Boston news for free, 24/7, wherever you are.


Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.

The messages were revealed during the testimony of Massachusetts State Police forensic expert Trooper Nicholas Guarino Monday afternoon.

Guarino was involved in extracting and reviewing data from four of the cell phones involved in the case – the ones belonging to Read, O’Keefe, and Jennifer McCabe and Kerry Roberts. At one point, Assistant District Attorney Adam Lally asked him to read from a series of Facebook messenger messages between Read and O’Keefe, starting in the afternoon on January 28, 2022. In them, the couple appears to be discussing a fight they had earlier in the morning.

“I feel pretty sh---y about how this morning when down,” Read wrote. I know you said sorry but it really stung. Esp when I’ve been trying pretty hard lately. I feel like a loser turning around and just coming back over after everything you said,” Read wrote at 2:16 p.m.

“Not sure what else you want me to do. I said I’m sorry and I was outta line. If you prefer to stay home I totally get it,” O’Keefe responded at 2:17 p.m

The exchange continued and gets heated, with Read pressing O’Keefe to tell her if he was interested in something else.

O’Keefe denies being interested in anyone else, adding, “Things haven’t been great between us for awhile. Ever consider that?” at 2:26 p.m.

Phone records show Read attempted to call O’Keefe multiple times in that timeframe, despite multiple messages from O’Keefe telling her not to call, and that he was not going to pick up. According to Guarino’s testimony on the phone records, there were 18 calls from Read to O’Keefe between 9:19 a.m. and 2:59 p.m. - 11 of them were rejected, four were missed, and three were answered. At around 3 p.m., O’Keefe calls Read back.

As Week 8 of the murder trial against Karen Read got underway Monday, jurors heard from a state police crash reconstruction expert and saw messages depicting a troubled relationship between the defendant and John O'Keefe.

The conversation moved to other topics, including the impending winter storm and their plans for the evening. The last of the messages Gurino read were sent by Read to O’Keefe in the early morning hours before his body was found.

“I’m going home,” she wrote at 12:55 a.m. on January 29.

“See u later,” she writes immediately after.

The last two messages come through shortly after.

“Your kids are (expletive) ALONE,” she wrote at 1:02 a.m.

“Im back in Mansfield. The kids are home alone,” said the final message Guarino read.

Legal expert Katherine Loftus said the text messages provide context, but she didn't see anything that she believes shows the intent that the prosecution would need to prove for a second-degree murder charge.

"It gives a little bit more context because what we’ve heard is a lot of testimony about different witnesses who talked about their good relationship and I think, as anyone knows, the public-facing relationship is often very different than the private relationship," Loftus said.

"Do I think it proves why she wanted to allegedly kill him or hit or him the intent? No I don’t," she told NBC10 Boston's Glenn Jones.

NBC10 Boston's Sue O'Connell, who has been in the courtroom for the trial, said the jury was paying close attention as Guarino read the messages and how they're taken will depend on individual bias.

"If you’d had relationships with this, like this, you might think it’s normal or you think it’s just somebody who acts this way," O'Connell said. "If you’ve never had a relationship where you’ve broken up or you think someone’s cheating on you, or you have issues where you have to call someone a million times or you have to be in a relationship with someone who calls you a million times, it may seem strange. But again, John O'Keefe ended that night dead, by the morning, and that’s the tragedy here and that’s what shapes the entire text exchange."

Contact Us