What We Know So Far in The Murder Trial of Karen Read

The former adjunct finance instructor and equities analyst at Bentley University, Karen Read, is now facing second-degree murder charges in Massachusetts. 

A jury has to decide if Read struck her boyfriend, Officer John O’Keefe, with her car and left him to die or if they believe the defense’s contention that O’Keefe was in a drunken fight and beaten severely and dumped outside by the “real murderers” who set her up to take the fall.

John O’Keefe was a 16-year member of the Boston Police Department and Read’s boyfriend. After a night on the town, the couple went to the Canton home of another Boston Police officer to celebrate. Among those in attendance was Brian Higgins, an FBI agent.

Officers’ conspiracy to cover their tracks is the foundation of the prosecution’s case, according to the defense. The guys may have panicked and attempted to cover up O’Keefe’s beating at the hands of Higgins, who had sent Read suggestive text messages.

Michael Proctor, a state trooper from Massachusetts, was the chief investigator despite having personal ties to many persons implicated in the case, and his methods and actions have been criticized in the case. Texts between Proctor and Read reveal his frustration with her, including calling her a “wack job,” jokes about her phone’s lack of naked photographs, and a message to his sister expressing his want for Read to “kill herself.”

Claiming incompetence and conflicts of interest, the defense cited several indiscretions, including failing to search the residence, using a leaf blower to remove snow that was tainted with blood, and leaving the crime scene unattended for hours. Deleting search history, destroying phones, and manipulating footage were among the other questionable behaviors.

Protesters demanding the dismissal of Read’s charges have been gathering outside the courtroom for over a year. As a sign of their commitment to fighting for truth and justice, the self-proclaimed “sidewalk jury” members wear pink and wave American flags as they wait anxiously for news of a judgment on their phones.