25 Investigates: Karen Read’s lawyers fight impoundment of Norfolk DA’s letter to the Feds

CANTON, Mass. — Karen Read’s defense attorneys are seeking to have communications between the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office and federal authorities made public.

The request comes weeks after 25 Investigates reported that Norfolk DA Michael Morrissey had sent a letter to the Department of Justice in May, requesting that the federal probe of the Karen Read case be transferred out of Massachusetts, based on potential conflicts with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston.

Morrissey’s letter provides the first official confirmation that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts is looking into the arrest and prosecution of Read, who’s accused of striking her Boston police officer boyfriend John O’Keefe with her Lexus SUV and leaving him to die in a snowstorm.

O’Keefe’s body was found just after 6 a.m. on Jan. 29, 2022, outside the Canton home of another Boston officer named Brian Albert. Police charged Read with second-degree murder and said she struck O’Keefe while driving in reverse after dropping him off at the Albert home following a night of drinking.

The Norfolk DA’s office wants that letter and others, that Morrisey and his first assistant exchanged with federal authorities in Boston and at the Department of Justice in Washington D.C., impounded. The DA’s office shared the letters with Read’s Defense team on December 4th as discovery.

Discovery is the formal process for exchanging information in a court case.

The communications include a letter Morrissey sent to Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston FBI office on November 22, 2023, according to the defense. The substance of that letter has not been revealed.

In addition, Morrissey’s lead prosecutor sent letters to Acting U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Josh Levy, in June and November of 2023.

In those letters, Norfolk County First Assistant District Attorney Lynn Beland requested any findings in the federal probe that could impact the state prosecution of Read on her second-degree murder charge, according to the defense filing.

In a public footnote about that communication, the Norfolk DA’s office wrote that Acting U.S. Attorney Levy responded that he “understands the DA’s office has important discovery obligations” and he “will be back in touch, as circumstances dictate,” the defense filing states.

In their opposition motion, Read’s lawyers describe the letters to Levy as “fishing for federal grand jury materials under the guise of fulfilling NDOA’s (Norfolk District Attorney’s Office) discovery obligations to Ms. Read,” and they have asked that all the correspondence be made public in Read’s case file.

25 Investigates has reported a federal grand jury has questioned people identified by the DA as witnesses in the Read case.

Read’s lawyers claim she’s been framed in a wide-ranging conspiracy by witnesses and law enforcement.

When asked about the defense’s opposition to impounding the letters, a spokesperson for the DA’s office told Boston 25 Investigative Reporter Ted Daniel, “The Commonwealth is comfortable that those matters can be adequately addressed at the hearing in Norfolk Superior Court on Friday.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

Download the FREE Boston 25 News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Boston 25 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch Boston 25 News NOW