Karen Read

Karen Read jury deliberates all day but doesn't come to a verdict

Legal analysts had told NBC10 Boston that they expected a relatively quick verdict

NBC Universal, Inc.

Eyes across the nation have turned to Massachusetts as jurors decide the fate of Karen Read.

The weeks-long murder trial is now in its final moments, but no verdict was reached Wednesday.



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.

Judge Beverly Cannone sent the jury home for the day at about 3:40 p.m. They're due back Thursday.

There were only two notes to the judge from the jury on Wednesday, though there were some heated moments in the courtroom over a defense request to change the verdict slip. Follow NBC10 Boston on... Instagram: instagram.com/nbc10boston TikTok: tiktok.com/@nbc10boston Facebook: facebook.com/NBC10Boston X: twitter.com/NBC10Boston

Shortly after deliberations resumed Wednesday morning, jurors sent a question to Cannone. But it was not a question about the trial specifically. Rather, the jury asked if they could conclude deliberations around 4 p.m. due to one juror who had a "long-standing scheduling conflict." The judge had no problem granting that request.

Around 10 a.m., court reconvened without the jury present, and defense attorney Alan Jackson argued his case to Cannone that the verdict slip was inappropriate. He took issue with the fact that there was no box on the slip to check for not guilty.

Hundreds of people have set up outside the courthouse in Dedham awaiting news of a verdict in the Karen Read trial. May are dressed in pink to show their support for Read, who is accused of killing her boyfriend John O'Keefe by hitting him with her SUV in January 2022. Follow NBC10 Boston on... Instagram: instagram.com/nbc10boston TikTok: tiktok.com/@nbc10boston Facebook: facebook.com/NBC10Boston X: twitter.com/NBC10Boston

Cannone explained that if jurors don't check the guilty block, the verdict reads not guilty.

"That is not how it should be, and it's over our strong objection. They need to see that there is a not guilty option," Jackson said.

But Cannone disagreed and said she thought the verdict slip was appropriate. As she was explaining that to Jackson, she apparently noticed a reaction from Read that she didn't appreciate.

"Excuse me. This is funny, Ms. Read?" Cannone said. "All right, we're done."

While the jury deliberated the charges in the Karen Read murder trial Wednesday, court returned to session for defense attorney Alan Jackson to argue that the verdict slips given to the jury weren't fair to read. The three-minute argument was testy, and ended with Judge Beverly Cannone saying, "This is funny Ms. Read? Alright, we're done."

On the courtroom video feed, Read's face was obscured by Jackson, but her head could be seen shaking side to side in response to Cannone's question.

Around 11:50 a.m., Cannone and the defense and prosecution teams returned to the courtroom without the jurors after Jackson filed an emergency motion seeking to amend the language on the jury slip.

Cannone acknowledged Jackson's point that the verdict slip could prove confusing to the jury and said she will clarify the matter with supplemental jury instructions and make some minor changes to the verdict slip. The prosecution did not object to the proposed changes.

The jury had submitted a question to the judge just after 11:30 a.m., so she said they will be brought back into court for an answer to their question and for the additional instructions.

The jury returned to the courtroom just before noon. Prior to delivering additional instructions about the verdict slip, Cannone responded to the jury's question, which was to ask if they could request the SERT report detailing the search that was performed outside the home where O'Keefe's body was found.

"You have all the evidence in the case," Cannone said. "What you have is the evidence in the case. You won't be receiving any additional evidence."

With the Karen Read murder trial jury's deliberations set to continue Thursday, NBC10 Boston court insider Sue O'Connell discusses what their request for more evidence from the state police SERT team might indicate, plus how Read's supporters are reacting to the slow deliberations.

The jury returned to its deliberations shortly after noon, and Cannone said she would make sure they get the updated verdict slip within the next 10 minutes.

It took longer — around 12:50 p.m., court was called back into session and the judges on both sides approved the rewritten verdict slip. Jackson shared his thanks.

Cannone noted that the jury would not be returning a verdict between 1 and 2 p.m., during the court's lunch hour.

As they continue to deliberate, you can bet still resting on the jurors' minds are the powerful words from the defense and prosecution voiced during Tuesday's closing arguments.

"Ladies and gentlemen, there was a cover-up in this case, plain and simple," said defense attorney Alan Jackson during closing arguments.

"There is no conspiracy. There is no cover-up. There is no evidence of any of that beyond speculation, rampage, speculation and conjecture," said prosecutor Adam Lally.

Read is accused of killing her Boston police officer boyfriend, John O'Keefe, after the two spent a night drinking at two separate bars in Canton, Massachusetts, with friends and acquaintances. She allegedly backed her SUV into him while dropping him off at 34 Fairview Road when the night was over, leaving him to die in a snowbank outside the home.

Prosecutor Adam Lally gives the Commonwealth's closing argument in the Karen Read murder trial.

Read is charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter while operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death.

"I hit him. I hit him. I hit him. I hit him. Those are the words of the defendant, four times," Lally said.

"You have been lied to in this courtroom, and your job is to make sure you don't ever look the other way," argued Jackson.

Defense attorney Alan Jackson presents his closing arguments in the Karen Read trial Tuesday morning. The defense has maintained that Read, who is accused of killing her boyfriend John O'Keefe by hitting him with her SUV, was framed as part of a law enforcement coverup.

The prosecution understands some of the witnesses they brought on the stand are questionable, but they maintain the evidence in this case is not to be questioned.

The defense, on the other hand, asks how can you trust the evidence if the character of those who were in charge of collecting it is questionable.

Outside of the courthouse, there have been dozens of people since this trial began, but on Tuesday as this case went to the jury, there were hundreds.

The crowds have been largely supporting defendant Read, but there has been some clashing with those supporters.

As we near the end of this murder trial, public interest has only grown, with an estimated 350 people supporting Read outside court Tuesday, watching closing arguments on cell phones and laptops.

The Karen Read trial has gotten a massive amount of attention, drawing a crush of people outside Norfolk Superior Court for closing arguments. Here's what the hundreds of her pink-clad supporters who were gathered there did Tuesday.

Two legal analysts NBC10 Boston spoke with say they think the jury cannot be unaware of the intense microscope on this case. They believe jurors will want to take their time and deliberate carefully, as they know any verdict will be dissected by the public.

The people outside court every day say they're confident in what the jury will decide.

"I don't think it will be long and we will finally have Karen freed," said one supporter.

"A not guilty verdict is coming back. I mean, the evidence showed it, anyone following this case from the beginning, saw the truth," said another supporter.

The two legal analysts say they expect this to be a relatively quick verdict.

We take a look at the closing arguments made by the prosecution and the defense in the Karen Read trial, which is now in the hands of the jury.
Contact Us