The defense in Karen Read’s murder case claims a massive police cover-up, while the prosecution charges her with driving while intoxicated.

The defense in Karen Read's murder case claims a massive police cover-up, while the prosecution charges her with driving while intoxicated.

On Tuesday, jurors were given the task of determining whether Karen Read, a resident of Massachusetts, was the victim of police corruption and was set up to cover up a fight at a fellow Boston officer’s house, or whether she ended a difficult romantic relationship by violently hitting her boyfriend with her SUV and leaving him critically injured in the snow.

Following a two-month murder trial in January 2022 involving the death of Boston police officer John O’Keefe, the jurors began their task. The case has received a great deal of attention thanks to the efforts of Read’s pink-shirted supporters and true crime bloggers.

Alan Jackson, the defense attorney, told the jury they were the “only thing standing between Karen Read and the tyranny of injustice” and painted the case as a disease of lies that “spreads into a conspiracy.”


This courthouse has been used to lie to you. Your responsibility is to ensure that you never, ever turn away,” he stated on Tuesday.

But Adam Lally, the assistant district attorney, informed the jury that “there is no conspiracy.” The words that four witnesses claimed to have heard Read utter following O’Keefe’s discovery on the snow-covered lawn opened his closing argument: “The defendant repeatedly said ‘I hit him.” I struck him. God, oh God. I struck him. According to Lally, “those were the defendant’s own words.”

Read, a former adjunct lecturer at Bentley College, is accused of manslaughter while under the influence of alcohol, leaving a scene of personal harm and death, and second-degree murder, which carries a possible sentence of life in prison. The maximum sentence for the other charge is ten years in jail, while the manslaughter charge carries a sentence of five to twenty years.

At the Canton house of Boston police officer Brian Albert, O’Keefe was allegedly carried outside after being beaten up in the basement and attacked by a dog, according to her attorneys. Jackson declared, “Ladies and gentlemen, there was a cover-up in this case, plain and simple.”


Though data from her car showed her driving in reverse at around 24 mph and then leaving the site, Lally presented the jurors what Read herself stated that evening in a voicemail she left for O’Keefe. She was “seething in rage as she’s screaming, ‘John, I [expletive] hate you!'” in it, he claimed.

The defense contended that witnesses who said they heard her say she hit O’Keefe had altered their accounts or were unable to hear the remarks because of the tumultuous circumstances. Because Read was a “convenient outsider,” according to Jackson, investigators concentrated on her rather than Albert and other law enforcement agents who may have been present at the house party. They also emphasized Albert’s relationship to the state trooper who oversaw the inquiry.


Jackson stated, “Michael Proctor built a tall blue wall, not a thin blue line.” “A hurdle Karen Read could not overcome, a wall you are unable to conquer. A wall dividing us from them. anywhere you people are not welcome. We defend those who are our own.

Jackson proposed that O’Keefe was invited to the home party by federal agent Brian Higgins, who had flirtatiously texted Read. There, the two got into a confrontation that resulted in punches and a tumble. He stated, “The panic sets in.” “What is done is done; it wasn’t meant to go that far.”


On April 29, testimony got underway following four days of jury selection. The majority of the trial was devoted to the prosecution’s systematic presentation of scene evidence. While the defense only summoned a few witnesses, it made good use of the opportunity to cross-examine prosecution witnesses and raise concerns about the investigation, citing what it regarded as shoddy police conduct and conflicts of interest. Complaints from a large group of supporters who frequently set up camp outside the courthouse backed up the defense.


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