Karen Read

Proctor's duty status hearing set for Monday, Mass. State Police say

The Massachusetts State Police say Trooper Michael Proctor, lead investigator in the Karen Read case, has been relieved of duty and transferred away from the Norfolk County District Attorney's Office

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Days after relieving him of his duties, the Massachusetts State Police will determine whether the lead detective in the murder case against Karen Read will face further penalties during an ongoing investigation into his behavior.

Just hours after the trial against Read ended with a hung jury, state police said Trooper Michael Proctor had been transferred from the Norfolk County District Attorney's Office. They explained that a duty status hearing would determine his work status during the internal affairs investigation.



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That hearing will be held Monday at the state police headquarters in Framingham, according to an announcement Friday.

"In any State Police discipline process, the trooper is subject to a duty status hearing, which results in either being retained on full duty, placed on restricted duty, suspended with pay, or suspended without pay," a police spokesperson wrote in a statement.

Michael Proctor, the lead investigator in John O'Keefe's death, has been relieved of duty by the Massachusetts State Police. We look at the impact the development might have for the Karen Read case and others.

Following his transfer to Troop H, police said Proctor is currently getting paid, but is not actively working. His car, gun and gear have been taken away, which is standard practice.

Proctor's testimony in the trial against Read — charged with the murder of her Boston police officer boyfriend, John O'Keefe, in 2022 — drew intense and widespread criticism.

Proctor sent vulgar and demeaning texts about Read to his family, friends and fellow troopers — including superiors with the state police — during the investigation.

"She's a whack job … c***," Proctor said while reading the texts while on the witness stand.

In the texts, he made disparaging remarks about medical conditions, and said he had found "no nudes so far" when going through Read's 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."

Would Judge Beverly Cannone preside over a retrial in the Karen Read case? What might be different next time around for the prosecution and the defense? We look back at the proceedings that ended this week with a hung jury.

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.

In one text to his sister, Proctor said of Read, "Hopefully she kills herself."

Interim Col. Jack Mawn of the Massachusetts State Police took a strong stance against the trooper's actions during his investigation of Read.

"Misconduct in any way, shape or form in the Massachusetts State Police will not be tolerated," Mawn said. "I condemn those comments in the strongest terms possible."

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."

Security expert Todd McGhee, a former trooper with the Massachusetts State Police, says if the POST Commission puts on the Brady List, any testimony he makes will essentially be "useless."

After a mistrial was declared, security expert Todd McGhee, a former trooper with the Massachusetts State Police, weighed in on whether he might testify in the state's planned retrial of Read. He said that if the POST Commission, which handles allegations of police misconduct, puts him on the Brady List, it could make any future testimony he makes extremely problematic.

"In this particular case, if Trooper Proctor ends up on the Brady List, essentially any testimony he has in a court of law is useless, to be frank," McGhee said.

Gov. Maura Healey was asked if Proctor should fired.

"This is the right move to remove him," she said. "There is a process, so we're going to have to go through that process."

Proctor's behavior is the latest of a long trail of scandals eroding public trust in the Massachusetts State Police. Some troopers have been accused of taking bribes for commercial drivers' licenses. Others have been convicted of stealing overtime for shifts they never worked and many more.

NBC10 Boston asked Mawn how the department can earn back trust when there have been so many scandals in recent years.

"We need to work very hard to engage the public in a more meaningful way so that we can understand what it is that we need to do and where we want to go in order to maintain trust, build trust, and, in some cases, regain it," Mawn said.

"The Association is proud of the work our members do each day, as well as the fact that our Massachusetts homicide solve rate is the envy of the country," The State Police Association of Massachusetts said in a lengthy statement about Proctor, which can be read in full here. "At the same time, we must be clear that we do not condone the language used in text messages presented as evidence during the trial."

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."

NBC10 Boston reached out to Proctor's lawyer for comment this week, but has not heard back.

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