Karen Read

Jurors return for fifth day of deliberations in Karen Read murder trial on Monday

The jury must decide whether prosecutors have proven that Read drunkenly and angrily slammed into her Boston police officer boyfriend with her Lexus SUV and left him to die.

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Jurors in the Karen Read trial went home for the weekend after telling the judge Friday that they couldn’t agree, only to be told to keep trying.

The jury must decide whether prosecutors have proven that Read drunkenly and angrily slammed into her Boston police officer boyfriend with her Lexus SUV and left him to die. The defense challenged the evidence and suggested that one or more colleagues killed John O’Keefe, dumped his body outside in a panic and then framed Read to cover it up.



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On their fourth day of deliberations in the two-month murder trial, a foreperson told the judge that they hadn’t reached a unanimous verdict despite an “exhaustive review of the evidence and our diligent consideration of all disputed evidence.

But Judge Beverly Cannone told the six men and six women to take lunch and try again, and they did for several more hours. “Clear your heads, we’ll start fresh on Monday,” Cannone told them later Friday.

The jury in the Karen Read trial told Judge Beverly Cannone Friday it was having trouble reaching a consensus.

Outside adjudicators

A handful of women with posters showed up Friday to counter the self-proclaimed “sidewalk jury” of true crime bloggers and pink-shirted Read supporters, many of them waving the Stars and Stripes, who have gathered outside the Norfolk County courthouse every day since the trial began.

Police officers stood between the two groups, neither of which was particularly pleased.

“A hung jury, that would be terrible,” said Paul Harvey, who owns a moving company in East Boston. He said Read should have been acquitted on the first day.

“This is unbelievable, the poor woman has been framed,” said Michael Ward. “This not only hasn’t been proven, but what’s been proven is she’s innocent.”

Demonstrators on the other side called out what they said has been harassment of the O’Keefe family and prosecution witnesses.

“Every day, these witnesses are getting death threats. It is just disgusting to John’s memory,” said Julie Guinto, an administrative assistant who said she doesn’t know the family.

With jury deliberations in the murder trial against Karen Read extending into another week, the many people who have gathered outside Norfolk Superior Court want a resolution.

Online duels

Much of the attention has been fed by social media.

“We know as well as I’m sure the jury knows that all roads lead to Karen Read,” said Kate Peter, a Youtuber from North Attleborough. She’s been battling online against Aidan Timothy Kearney, aka Turtleboy, whose website has relentlessly questioned the prosecution.

“I am hopeful and faithful they will reach a just verdict and she will be held criminally responsible for her actions in this murder,” Peter said.

Who’s who?

Read, 44, had worked as an equity analyst and was an adjunct lecturer in finance at her alma mater, Bentley University. O’Keefe, 46, was a 16-year veteran of the Boston Police Department who was raising his niece and nephew.

Jurors are deliberating events that unfolded at the Canton home of Brian Albert, a Boston police detective, after a night of bar-hopping in January 2022. Brian Higgins, a federal agent who was among those gathered inside, had exchanged flirty texts with Read earlier that month. The lead investigator was State Trooper Michael Proctor, who was friends with several witnesses and sent offensive texts about Read to friends, family and fellow troopers during the investigation.

Our team coverage of the Karen Read murder trial shares her reaction after closing arguments and goes inside a Canton Select Board meeting amid a debate on the future of their new police chief.

The charges

Read was charged with second-degree murder, punishable in Massachusetts by life in prison with the possibility of parole. She also faces lesser charges of manslaughter while operating a vehicle under the influence, punishable by five to 20 years; and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, punishable by up to 10 years.

The evidence

Pieces of Read’s broken taillight were found at the scene and a single hair from O’Keefe was found on the rear bumper of Read’s SUV. Prosecutors say that Read repeatedly said, “I hit him. I hit him. Oh my God, I hit him” to first responders and others. Prosecutors replayed angry voicemails Read left for O’Keefe, painting a picture of a failing relationship. They also questioned her behavior, saying she never cried after O’Keefe’s body was found.

Was a video shown in court Wednesday during the Karen Read murder trial flipped? Here's what NBC10 Boston commentator and analyst Sue O'Connell had to say in the latest episode of "Canton Confidential." Follow NBC10 Boston on... Instagram: instagram.com/nbc10boston TikTok: tiktok.com/@nbc10boston Facebook: facebook.com/NBC10Boston X: twitter.com/NBC10Boston

Read’s defense

Read contends that the prosecution’s case is based on lies by officers trying to protect themselves. Her lawyers say the pieces of taillight and the hair were planted at the crime scene, which was left unsecured. They also suggested O’Keefe might have been beaten up by Higgins, who had flirted with Read through texts, and that the men panicked, dumping his body outside before trying to cover up the crime.

Sloppy detective work

Regardless of any verdict, the case revealed questionable techniques and actions on the part of law enforcement. Proctor, who had personal relationships with several of the people involved, called Read a “wack job” and texted his sister saying he wished Read would “kill herself.” He said that was a figure of speech and that his emotions had gotten the better of him.

The defense also pointed to sloppy policing: The crime scene was left unsecured for hours; the house wasn’t searched; blood-stained snow was scooped up with red plastic drinking cups; and a leaf blower was used to clear snow. The defense also claims that a prosecution witness conducted an incriminating internet search hours before O’Keefe’s body was discovered and then deleted it, and that others linked with the case destroyed phones and manipulated videos.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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