Canton, MA – Attorneys for woman charged with running over her Boston cop boyfriend and leaving him to die outside in a winter storm claim they have found text messages that prove she’s innocent and two other people actually killed the officer.
Karen Read was arrested on Feb. 1, 2022, on an outstanding warrant in connection with the Jan. 29, 2022 death of her 46-year-old boyfriend, Boston Police Officer John O’Keefe, WBTS reported.
Read has been charged with manslaughter while under the influence of alcohol, second-degree murder, and leaving the scene of personal injury and death, according to The Boston Globe.
During a court hearing shortly after his death, prosecutors said Read and Officer O’Keefe had gone out drinking with friends at C.F. McCarthy’s bar in Canton on Jan. 28, 2022, WBTS reported.
They later went to a second nearby bar and left around midnight after they were invited to another BPD officer’s home on Fairview Road for a party.
Read’s attorneys said the party was held at 34 Fairview Road at the home of 34-year-old BPD Officer Brian Albert and his wife, The Boston Globe reported.
Read allegedly told police she wasn’t feeling well, so she dropped Officer O’Keefe off at the house party and went home, WBTS reported.
One of Read’s friends told investigators she received a call from Read at 5 a.m. saying, “John’s dead, I wonder if he’s dead. It’s snowing, he got hit by a plow,” according to prosecutors.
Read said she had been trying to reach Officer O’Keefe for hours but that he wasn’t responding to her texts or calls, WBTS reported.
Two friends took Read to the home on Fairview Road at approximately 6 a.m. and found Officer O’Keefe lying outside.
His eyes were black and blue and swollen shut, his clothing was saturated with vomit and blood, and he had six lacerations on his right arm, according to prosecutors.
“The victim was cold to touch, with no signs of breath,” Assistant Norfolk District Attorney Adam Lally said, according to WBTS.
Investigators said Officer O’Keefe appeared to have been out in the blizzard for some time prior to his body being discovered.
Read allegedly told a paramedic at the scene, “I hit him, I hit him, I hit him, I hit him,” Lally told the court.
Officer O’Keefe was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, WBTS reported.
An autopsy revealed he also suffered multiple skull fractures and had a two-inch laceration to the back of his head.
The medical examiner said hypothermia likely contributed to his death.
Investigators located Read’s 2021 black Lexus SUV at her parents’ home and discovered it had a shattered right taillight and multiple scratches on the back bumper, according to prosecutors.
“She stated that she dropped the victim off, she made a three-point turn in the street and left — did not see the victim in the house,” Lally said, according to WCVB. “She indicated that she first observed the broken taillight in the morning and did not know how she broke it the previous evening.”
Sources said investigators have located Ring camera footage of the incident, according to WBZ.
But Read’s attorneys have alleged prosecutors withheld evidence that cleared Read’s name and implicated two other individuals in Officer O’Keefe’s death, The Boston Globe reported.
They claimed in a motion on Wednesday that newly-obtained cell phone data revealed Officer Albert’s sister-in-law, Jennifer McCabe, conducted a Google search on her phone at 2:27 a.m., inquiring, “Ho[w] long to die in cold.”
The query was made hours before Read found Officer O’Keefe lying out in the snow.
A forensic analysis further showed the search was intentionally deleted from McCabe’s phone, as well as a series of messages that took place between her, Officer Albert, and Officer Albert’s wife in the early-morning hours of Jan. 29, 2022, The Boston Globe reported.
“There is simply no innocent explanation for McCabe’s search at that time,” Read’s defense team said in a press release, according to The Boston Globe. “This evidence unequivocally exonerates Karen, because it establishes that individuals who were in the house at 34 Fairview that night were aware that John was dying in the snow before Karen even knew he was missing.”
Defense attorneys said the Google search “exculpates Ms. Read and decisively implicates Jennifer McCabe and Brian Albert in the murder of John O’Keefe,” the Boston Herald reported.
They further alleged police attempted to cover up what really took place that night.
“In spite of the fact that O’Keefe was found dead on the front lawn of Boston Police Officer Brian Albert, a highly trained boxer and fighter with deep familial and personal ties to the Canton Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police, law enforcement has utterly failed to treat Mr. Albert (and his family members who were present on the night in question) as suspects,” Read’s attorneys said in the motion.
The defense team claimed prosecutors withheld the cell phone evidence for more than one year.
“It’s unthinkable that the prosecution would have McCabe’s cellphone in their possession for more than a year, do a forensic analysis on that phone, and then fail to turn over this extraordinary exculpatory evidence. But that’s exactly what happened,” Read’s attorneys said, according to The Boston Globe.
“It makes you wonder what else the prosecution has failed to turn over to the defense,” they added. “We will not rest until we have uncovered all the evidence, which will establish that the prosecution of Karen was a miscarriage of justice from the start.”
The defense team said they have also asked the court to allow them to analyze Officer Albert’s cell phone, The Boston Globe reported.
Prosecutors said little about defense’s new bold claims but said they will provide a “formal and detailed response to the motion” either during or subsequent to a hearing slated for May 3.
“While prosecutors are ethically constrained in the statements that can be made outside the courtroom, the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office is in receipt of the motion filed today but it has not yet been determined that defense has interpreted the raw data correctly,” Norfolk District Attorney’s Office Spokesman David Traub told The Boston Globe.
“The Norfolk District Attorney’s Office has asked defense repeatedly during the pendency of this matter to provide any actually exculpatory evidence to support their claims,” Traub added.
Read worked as an adjunct lecturer of finance at Bentley University and was also an equity analyst at a financial firm prior to her arrest.
She has pleaded not guilty.
Read and Officer O’Keefe had been together for two years at the time of his death, WBZ reported.
He served the BPD for 16 years.