Federal probe findings revealed in court as Karen Read’s defense team pushes to dismiss murder case

DEDHAM, Mass. — Karen Read, the woman accused in the death of her boyfriend, Boston Police Officer John O’Keefe, was back in court on Tuesday morning for a hearing in her murder case as her attorneys sought to get her criminal charges dropped.

Her defense team, led by attorney Alan Jackson, presented a motion to dismiss the second-degree murder case against Read in Norfolk County Superior Court in Dedham.

She is accused of running down John O’Keefe in reverse with her Lexus SUV in Canton but an accident reconstructionist hired by the FBI found O’Keefe’s injuries did not appear to be from a car strike.

“The damage on the car was inconsistent with having made contact with John O’Keefe’s body. In other words, the car didn’t hit him, and he wasn’t hit by the car. Period. Full stop,” Read’s attorney Alan Jackson said.

WATCH LIVE: Karen Read, woman charged in murder of police officer boyfriend, returns to court.

WATCH LIVE: Karen Read, woman charged in murder of police officer boyfriend, returns to court.

Posted by Boston 25 News on Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Jackson revealed that and other findings from 3074 pages of documents The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Massachusetts turned over last month from the federal probe of her arrest and prosecution.

He told Judge Beverly Cannone that the federal investigation found inconsistencies and conflicts that should lead to the dismissal of her second-degree murder case.

The defense claims O’Keefe was beaten and attacked by a dog inside the former Canton home of another Boston police officer named Brian Albert in a wide-ranging cover-up involving local and state law enforcement.

Jackson said State Police Detective Michael Proctor, the lead detective assigned to investigate O’Keefe’s death, had a personal relationship with members of the Albert family that was not disclosed to the state grand jury that indicted Read.

“It’s not lost on anybody in this courtroom that for two years the Commonwealth has been denying it,” Jackson said.

Jackson said text messages analyzed in the federal investigation reveal that one of the Albert’s offered to buy Proctor a gift when the case against Read was over.

Norfolk County Assistant District Attorney Adam Lally accused the defense of inflating the relationships of police and witnesses to distract from Read’s alleged guilt.

“It’s a three-card Monte trick. You know, card trick. On the corner, on the side. Look at all of this. Look at, this relationship. Look at that relationship. Conflating these relationships, sort of the distortion that I would say between what exists in social media realm and what exists in reality,” Lally said.

An FBI analysis of a phone belonging to Brian Albert’s sister-in-law, Jennifer McCabe, determined she searched “hos long to die in cold” at 2:27 am, hours before she called 911 to report that O’Keefe’s body had been found outside the Albert home, according to Jackson.

“The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation also specifically confirms that that search was made on Jennifer McCabe’s phone, and it was made on or before 2:27 (am)… That fact, Your Honor, is no longer open for debate. And none of that was presented before the (state) grand jury,” Jackson explained.

The defense first brought up McCabe’s Google search in April 2023 and this is the first time a law enforcement agency has corroborated the findings.

Prosecutor Lally said the federal investigation found no indication of a cover-up or evidence that O’Keefe entered the Albert home. He said grand jury minutes from the federal investigation are largely consistent with the state’s case.

“42 separate witnesses, 56 exhibits, over 1,400 pages of transcript which clearly demonstrate and indicate that the defendant, Karen Read, killed John O’Keefe,” Lally said.

Following the hearing, Alan Jackson told Boston 25 reporter Ted Daniel he is planning to introduce more evidence from the federal investigation in new filings.

Judge Cannone must rule on the defense’s motion to dismiss. If she denies the motion, a trial is expected next month.

As of right now, Read’s jury trial is slated to begin on April 16, with full days on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and half days on Tuesday and Thursday.

Read a play-by-play of what transpired in court below:

Tuesday’s hearing came after Judge Cannone agreed to push back Read’s trial from March 12 to April 16 to give both sides time to review the findings of a new 3074-page document dump.

The prosecution said it had reviewed all the evidence from the feds, but Jackson said his team was still reviewing the information.

A big focus was on defense motions during Tuesday’s hearing.

Judge Cannone heard motions from Read’s legal team to dismiss the case and for sanctions and disqualifications against prosecutors.

Prosecutors have alleged that Read backed over her boyfriend, Officer John O’Keefe, and left him to die in a January 2022 blizzard in Canton.

She is charged with second-degree murder, motor vehicle manslaughter, and leaving the scene of a collision in connection with his death.

25 Investigates reported last month that a new filing from the prosecution indicated O’Keefe’s DNA was found on Read’s broken taillight and that testing found tiny pieces of taillight in his clothing were consistent with broken pieces from Read’s taillight.

Read’s lawyers claim she is being framed in a massive cover-up, and that feds have been investigating the probe into O’Keefe’s death.

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

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