A Mansfield woman has been indicted by a grand jury on a second-degree murder charge in the death of her boyfriend, Boston Police Officer John O'Keefe, according to the Norfolk District Attorney's Office.
Karen Read, 42, was previously charged with manslaughter, accused of hitting O'Keefe with her car. O'Keefe was found outside a home in Canton, Massachusetts, on January 29 during blizzard-like conditions. Officials said he appeared to have been in the cold for some period of time before his body was discovered, He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Read was arraigned on the previous charges in Stoughton District Court in February. She pleaded not guilty and has been free on a $50,000 cash bail.
Read was arrested again Thursday at her Mansfield home. She will be arraigned on the indictment charges, which include second-degree murder, motor vehicle manslaughter, and leaving the scene of a collision, on Friday at Norfolk Superior Court.
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What we know about the case
Prosecutors said Read and O'Keefe had been drinking at C.F. McCarthy's bar in Canton with several friends on the night of January 28. They then went to Waterfall Bar & Grille across the street around 11 p.m., where they stayed for about an hour. They left there and were invited to a party at a home on Fairview Road. Read told police she dropped O'Keefe off at the house shortly after midnight and went home because she was having stomach issues.
Read later returned to the home with two friends several hours later after she was unable to get O'Keefe to respond to her calls and texts.
One of the friends told police Read called her at 5 a.m. and said, "John's dead, I wonder if he's dead. It's snowing, he got hit by a plow."
Read and the two friends found O'Keefe outside the home on Fairview Road in the snow during blizzard-like conditions, prosecutors said. He had bloody lacerations on his right arm, his eyes were swollen shut and his clothing was saturated with blood and vomit.
He was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Prosecutors said in court that Read told a Canton firefighter/paramedic at the scene, "I hit him, I hit him, I hit him, I hit him."
Prosecutors said Read's vehicle was later located at her parents' house and has been seized. The 2021 black Lexus SUV had a shattered right rear taillight and several scratches on its rear bumper.
An autopsy found several abrasions to O'Keefe's right forearm, two black eyes, a cut to his nose, a two inch laceration to the back of his head, and multiple skull fractures. Hypothermia is also believed to be a contributing factor in his death.
David Yannetti, Read's lawyer, previously stated that the original manslaughter charge "is a tremendous reach" in this case.
"I don't see any criminal intent that would justify manslaughter in that affidavit. There's a reason for that -- there was no criminal intent," he said in court in February. "This was not some random stranger. This was my client's boyfriend, somebody whom she loved."
O'Keefe was a 16-year veteran of the Boston Police Department. He was not on duty at the time of his death.