Girlfriend posted $50k cash bail after being charged with manslaughter in death of Boston officer

Prosecutor says victim had head injury and signs of hypothermia; defense calls manslaughter charge a “reach”

STOUTGHTON, Mass. — A Norfolk County District Court Judge ordered 41-year-old Karen Read of Mansfield to be held on a fifty-thousand-dollar bail during her arraignment Wednesday morning in Stoughton District Court. Read posted cash bail and left the courthouse after her arraignment.

Read is charged with manslaughter in the death of her boyfriend, off-duty veteran Boston Police Officer John O’Keefe.

O’Keefe’s body was found during the blizzard Saturday morning outside a Canton home belonging to another Boston Police Officer. O’Keefe had skull fractures, swollen eyes, arm abrasions, and signs of hypothermia, according to the prosecutor.

In court, a Norfolk County prosecutor said Read and two of her friends reported finding O’Keefe in the snow around six in the morning.

When a Canton Police officer arrived at the scene, he noted that one of the friends was performing CPR but O’Keefe was unresponsive and “cold to the touch”.

Witnesses told detectives that Read and O’Keefe went to the home on Fairview Road home for a gathering, after spending about an hour together with friends at the Waterfall Bar in Canton on Friday.

One witness said she saw Read’s Black Lexus SUV pull in front of the home on Fairview Road, but neither Read or O’Keefe entered. Read’s SUV then left, according to the prosecutor.

A friend of Read’s who spoke with her hours later said Read called her at 4:45 a.m. Saturday sounding distraught. Read asked the friend, “Could I have hit him? Did I hit him?” according to the prosecutor. Read told the friend she had a cracked taillight, say, prosecutors.

A friend then picked up Read and drove her back to Fairview Road. Once they turned on the street, Read immediately said she saw O’Keefe in the snow despite blizzard conditions, according to the prosecutor, who said police later found a sneaker belonging to O’Keefe, blood stains, two pieces of taillight and a broken cocktail style glass at the scene.

Read’s friends say she was seen carrying a similar type of glass with a vodka and soda earlier in the night, according to the prosecutor.

One of Read’s friends told investigators, “..she believed Karen was still intoxicated in the morning” and Read told her she, “did not remember last night” according to court documents.

Police searched Read’s vehicle Wednesday and say they found a crack in the right rear taillight. A state police accident reconstruction team impounded the Lexus SUV and found the safety warning systems, including an obstruction alert was working properly. the prosecutor said.

Read’s, attorney, David Yannetti told the Judge, Read is an equity analyst at a large financial company and adjunct lecturer at a local College. Yannetti says she has no criminal record and suffers from a host of medical issues including Colitis, Multiple Sclerosis, and a brain tumor.

Yannetti called the manslaughter charge, “a tremendous reach” citing a lack of intent. He said Read and O’Keefe have been together for 2 years and she, “loved him”. He said Read placed multiple calls looking for O’Keefe after she left the Fairview Road home. He said police, “violated Read’s right to counsel multiple times” when they questioned her prior to her arrest.

Boston 25 News Analyst Peter Elikann said details revealed during Read’s arraignment leave more questions than answers.

“From this point forward, they’ll be doing a much more thorough investigation. Through the discovery process, her lawyer will be able to get every bit of information that they have,” said Elikann. “As the evidence comes forward there’s always a chance of changing the charges, either lessening them or increasing them.”

Her next court date has been scheduled for March 1st.


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

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