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Judge declares a mistrial in the case of Karen Read, accused of murdering her police officer boyfriend, due to hung jury

After five days of deliberation, the panel failed to decide whether the evidence presented was sufficient to determine guilt.

Karen Read(Youtube-WCVB Channel 5 Boston)

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A judge declared a mistrial in the case against Karen Read, accused of the 2022 murder of her police officer boyfriend, John O'Keefe. The decision came after the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict after five days of deliberation.

This Monday, the jury, composed of six men and six women, sent a note to Norfolk County Superior Court Judge Beverly Cannone reporting that they were unable to reach a consensus. While some jurors felt that the evidence presented was sufficient to convict Read, others felt that prosecutors had failed to prove their case convincingly.

After declaring a mistrial, Judge Cannone scheduled a hearing for the end of the month to determine the future of the case.

The case

The trial, which spanned nine weeks in a courtroom outside Boston, centered on Read, 44, who was accused of running over her boyfriend, John O'Keefe, 46, with her Lexus SUV and leaving him fatally injured on Jan. 29, 2022.

O'Keefe was found unconscious during the morning and was later pronounced dead. The medical examiner determined the cause of death to be blunt trauma to the head and hypothermia.


The prosecution charged Read with second-degree murder, vehicular homicide while driving under the influence of alcohol, and leaving the scene of a collision causing injury and death. They also argued that physical evidence supported these allegations, including a broken taillight after the collision and O'Keefe's hair and DNA found on the back of the vehicle.

The defense alleged that Read was framed by other police officers in an attempt to cover up a beating they claimed O'Keefe suffered at the hands of his colleagues during a meeting at the house where his body was found. They alleged that the lead investigator, Massachusetts State Police trooper Michael Proctor, tampered with evidence and failed to properly investigate O'Keefe's death.

Defense attorney Alan Jackson presented a security video showing Read crashing her pickup truck into O'Keefe's vehicle while trying to find him. He also mentioned that data from O'Keefe's iPhone indicated activity suggesting she may have been in the basement of the home of Brian Albert, another officer, at the time O'Keefe was allegedly assaulted.

During the trial, forensic expert Andrew Rentschler testified that O'Keefe's injuries were not consistent with being run over at high speed, adding further doubt about the circumstances of his death, so Karen Read's case remains a mystery shrouded in controversy and speculation. Authorities are expected to decide soon whether they will seek a retrial or explore other avenues of investigation.