Massachusetts

Mansfield Woman Facing Murder Charge in Police Officer Boyfriend's Death

Karen Read, 42, is accused of backing her SUV into Boston Police Officer John O'Keefe in January and leaving him to die in the snow outside a home in Canton, Massachusetts.

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The charges against a Mansfield woman accused in the death of her boyfriend, a Boston police officer, have been upgraded from manslaughter to second-degree murder.

Karen Read's attorney made explosive allegations in court Friday, saying the evidence is being manufactured and a blue wall has gone up.

Read, 42, is accused of backing her SUV into Boston Police Officer John O'Keefe in January and leaving him to die in the snow outside a home in Canton, Massachusetts.

"The victim and the defendant had been arguing for quite some time.  Numerous times over the weeks preceding this, that on one occasion the victim had attempted to break up with the defendant, had asked her to leave his home and she refused to do so," Assistant District Attorney Adam Lally said in court.

They were drinking with friends the night he died - one of them a Canton police officer.  O'Keefe's body was found in front of that officer's home. To avoid a conflict the Massachusetts State Police took over the investigation, but Read's attorney, David Yannetti, said the opposite happened.

"The lead detective is very close to the owners of that property and he was supposedly assigned to the case to avoid the appearance of impropriety," he argued.

Yannetti accused investigators of doctoring Read's SUV.  Prosecutors have said the 2021 black Lexus SUV had a shattered right rear taillight and several scratches on its rear bumper when investigators seized it at her parents' house.

But Yannetti said he has evidence it was in a different condition after police impounded it.  And he said O'Keefe's injuries are inconsistent with being hit by a car.

"He's got scratch marks all up and down his arm that are completely unexplained.  He's got two black eyes. Appears to have a broken nose. There's something else going on here," he told the court.

Yannetti also said when Read found O'Keefe in the snow she tried to save him.

 "She performed CPR... had blood all over her mouth and her clothing trying to revive him."

Prosecutors requested $500,000 cash bail. The judge cut that down to $100,000.

Read posted bail and is scheduled to appear back in court on August 12.

O'Keefe was a 16-year veteran of the Boston Police Department. He was not on duty at the time of his death.

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