Karen Read

Michael Proctor relieved of duty, state police say after Karen Read mistrial

Massachusetts State Police say Trooper Michael Proctor, who came under fire for texts he sent as lead investigator in the Karen Read case, is being transferred from the Norfolk County District Attorney's Office

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Massachusetts State Police have taken action against Trooper Michael Proctor after a mistrial was declared Monday in the case against Karen Read.

Proctor drew heavy criticism after testifying in the case, for which he served as the lead investigator, revealing a series of inappropriate texts he sent about Read.



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"Upon learning today's result, the Department took immediate action to relieve Trooper Michael Proctor of duty and formally transfer him out of the Norfolk County District Attorney's Office State Police Detective's Unit," Col. John Mawn, interim superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, wrote in a statement. "This follows our previous decision to open an internal affairs investigation after information about serious misconduct emerged in testimony at the trial. This investigation is ongoing."

The trial against Read — accused of killing boyfriend John O'Keefe, a Boston police officer, in 2022 — ended Monday when jurors were unable to reach a verdict. State prosecutors say they intend to retry Read.

We have full analysis of the mistrial in the Karen Read case, looking at what we learned from the court proceedings and what's to come.

O'Keefe was found dying in the snow outside the Canton home of Brian Albert, a fellow officer with the Boston Police Department. Prosecutors argued Read hit him with her SUV and left him to die, while Read's defense argued she was framed in a coverup involving law enforcement and people inside the home.

Proctor became the lead investigator after state police were called in because Albert has a brother with the Canton Police Department. But Proctor's own connection with other witnesses were called into question at the trial. Proctor acknowledged that he is close with his sister, Courtney, who is friends with Julie Albert, the homeowner's sister-in-law.

The trooper came under fire after testifying about texts he sent during the investigation to friends, family members and colleagues, including superiors with the state police.

In them, he called Read a "whack job" and a "c***," made disparaging remarks about medical conditions, and said he had found "no nudes so far" when going through her phone.

When a friend said they were "sure the owner of the house will receive some s***," Proctor replied, "Nope, homeowner is a Boston cop, too."

Massachusetts State Police Trooper Michael Proctor refused to answer questions from the NBC10 Boston Investigators after the murder trial against Karen Read ended with a hung jury.

Some of the trooper's texts about Read were sent to his wife, Elizabeth Proctor. NBC10 Boston approached the couple outside their Canton home Monday to seek comment about the mistrial.

Both told reporter Kathy Curran to get off their lawn while she was on a public street.

"I fully support my husband," Elizabeth Proctor said as they were walking inside. "Karen Read is a murderer."

"Regarding Trooper Michael Proctor being relieved of duty, conduct has consequences," Read's attorneys, David Yannetti and Alan Jackson, said in a statement Monday night. "DA [Michael] Morrissey backed this misogynist corrupt cop, and 2 hours after he announced he will pursue a second trial against an innocent woman Karen Read, The Massachusetts State Police announced that Michael Proctor the lead investigator for the Commonwealth has been relieved of duty 'because of serious misconduct that emerged in testimony at the trial.' We look forward to another opportunity to reveal the truth about this unjust prosecution. Good Luck."

The state has already said it intends to retry the case, which must start within one year. Legal experts weigh in about what needs to happen and what could change between this trial and the next. Follow NBC10 Boston on... Instagram: instagram.com/nbc10boston TikTok: tiktok.com/@nbc10boston Facebook: facebook.com/NBC10Boston X: twitter.com/NBC10Boston

On the witness stand, Proctor said his words were "unprofessional and regrettable," but claimed they had no bearing on the integrity of the investigation.

Following Proctor's testimony, legal analyst Michael Coyne said on NBC10 Boston that it "likely was fatal to the government's case, especially as you point out his supervisors were involved in this exchange and didn't reprimand him in any way, didn't even stop the conversation from continuing."

"The fact is it does taint all law enforcement in this case, and a lot of law enforcement hasn't covered themselves in glory already," Coyne continued. "So I'm afraid this has put the commonwealth likely in a very fatal position."

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