Karen Read

Proctor's state car, gun and gear taken away amid investigation

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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The lead detective in the Karen Read murder case has been relieved of his duties and faces a department hearing after his behavior was exposed during the trial.

While Massachusetts State Police Trooper Michael Proctor is not actively working, he's still a member of the department and getting paid. But that could very well change.



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Proctor will have what's known as a "duty status" hearing to determine his work status during the internal affairs investigation. His car, gun and gear have been taken away, which is standard practice.

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.

The move by the state police comes while the internal investigation into Proctor's conduct continues.

Interim Col. Jack Mawn of the Massachusetts State Police took a strong stance against the trooper's actions during his investigation of Read, who's accused of hitting her boyfriend, Boston Police Officer John O'Keefe, with her car, killing him in January of 2022.

Proctor sent vulgar and demeaning texts about Read to his family, friends and fellow troopers, during the investigation.

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

We hear from the Massachusetts State Police interim colonel about the internal affairs investigation that's ongoing into Michael Proctor, lead investigator in the Karen Read murder trial, and his conduct.

"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."

Testimony revealed the detective was also familiar with several of the witnesses.

The case ended in a mistrial, and, for the trooper, a fall from grace.

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.

Proctor graduated from the academy in 2014 and moved on to work as a detective in the Norfolk County District Attorney's Office. Last year, he was paid $146,053 -- including almost $37,000 in overtime.

State police confirmed Monday he had been transferred away from the district attorney's office. The NBC10 Boston Investigators learned Tuesday that Proctor had been sent to Troop H, but will not be working while he is relieved of duty.

The trooper's fate with the department will be determined by an internal investigation and the state's POST Commission, which handles allegations of police misconduct.

Sources tell the NBC10 Boston Investigators Proctor is also part of a federal probe looking into the handling of the case.

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."

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

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