Judge delays Karen Read murder trial after thousands of pages of new federal evidence emerges

DEDHAM, Mass. — A Norfolk County Assistant District Attorney and one of Karen Read’s lawyers provided contrasting descriptions of the secret documents the U.S. Attorney’s Office turned over last week from their probe of Read’s arrest and prosecution.

During a hearing for Read Monday in Dedham, defense attorney Alan Jackson said his team was still reviewing the 3074-page document dump, but he described the information he’s already examined as being favorable to Read.

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 Monday, February 26, 2024

Judge Beverly Cannone agreed to push back her trial from March 12 to April 16 to give both sides time to review the new findings.

“All of it is brand new. And all of it, your honor, appears to us to be exculpatory,” Jackson said about the federal findings. “We will be filing a motion for extraordinary governmental misconduct based on certain evidence that we just received,” he said.

In addition to filing a misconduct claim, Jackson said he plans to issue additional subpoenas based on the federal paperwork, but he didn’t provide the names of the individuals he plans to question.

Jackson told Judge Beverly Cannone he would be adding information from the federal probe to two existing motions she still needs to consider. One is a motion to dismiss the case, the other is a motion to disqualify and sanction the Norfolk DA.

The prosecution said it has reviewed all the evidence from the feds and Assistant D.A. Laura McLaughlin disputed the defense’s interpretation of it.

“I would say approximately 90% to 95% of the material that we’ve received is consistent with the Commonwealth’s theory of the case,” McLaughlin said in court. “The evidence, as a whole, is very consistent with prior statements made by witnesses.”

Jackson said the defense will need additional time to work on motions. Judge Cannone asked him to put the request in writing.

Judge Cannone also said that the Deputy U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts has agreed to allow both sides to reference the federal findings in upcoming proceedings.

“The parties can make oral references to the contents in the materials and proceedings in this courtroom… only as necessary to further the proceedings,” Cannone said.

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 week 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 declined to comment last week.

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.

Earlier this month, a filing obtained by 25 Investigates initially showed Read’s trial might begin later than scheduled.


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