Judge impounds defense motion in Read case, says move will “protect” integrity of grand jury process

DEDHAM, Mass. — A Superior Court judge cited the need to “protect the integrity of the federal grand jury” process Monday as she impounded a motion filed by lawyers representing a Massachusetts woman charged with killing her Boston police officer boyfriend.

Prosecutors have charged Karen Read with second-degree murder for allegedly killing her Boston police officer boyfriend John O’Keefe by backing into him with her SUV and leaving him to die in a snowstorm on Jan. 29, 2022.

25 Investigates on Friday reported that the lawyers of Karen Read had filed a motion to dismiss the indictments pursued by the Norfolk District Attorney’s office. Her lawyers accuse District Attorney Michael Morrissey of unethical conduct. The DA’s spokesperson declined to comment.

On Monday, Superior Court Judge Beverly Cannone impounded that motion. That means the paperwork will no longer be available to the public.

In her decision, Cannone said, “I find that there is good cause to impound the motion and memorandum to protect the integrity of the federal grand jury proceedings referenced by the council.”

Cannone added the order shall be in effect until a Jan. 18 motion hearing.

25 Investigates obtained the motion late Friday before the judge impounded it.

In the motion, the defense accuses the DA’s office of framing Read and withholding information about a federal investigation of the case.

Morrissey’s office has repeatedly denied the existence of a conspiracy to frame Read and said there’s no evidence to support that theory.

Prosecutors say they’ve amassed a pile of evidence against Read, including interviews with numerous witnesses and evidence including an apparent human hair found on Read’s Lexus.

Still, Read’s team is using pre-trial motions to cast doubt on prosecutors’ charges, and argue that a wide-ranging conspiracy of local and state law enforcement planted incriminating evidence falsely implicating Read in O’Keefe’s death.

As 25 Investigates has been reporting, a federal grand jury has been looking at law enforcement’s handling of the Read case.

In the Friday filing, Read’s lawyers say the Norfolk County DA has disclosed six letters dated May to November 2023 between the DA’s office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. Department of Justice, or the FBI.

The motion says in a May 18, 2023, four-page letter, Norfolk County DA Michael Morrissey told the Office of Professional Responsibility at the U.S. Department of Justice that he was aware that multiple state witnesses in the Read case had “‘received subpoenas to appear before a Federal Grand Jury.’”

According to the defense’s motion, that May 18, 2023 letter from Morrissey says that the first assistant at the U.S. Attorney’s Office spoke with the DA’s office “disclosing the existence of a federal investigation involving a number of the witnesses in the Karen Read case.”

The defense’s motion says Morrisey’s letter also says: “We have confirmed that witnesses testified before the Grand Jury.”

But according to the Friday filing: the DA’s office told Read’s lawyers in a Dec. 4 notice of discovery that it had received no “confirmation about whether any witnesses” in the Read case had testified before a federal grand jury.

Read’s lawyers say that conduct – along with Morrissey’s August video statement urging an end to harassment of witnesses – amounts to the DA flouting ethical rules and constitutional due process requirements.

“The Commonwealth’s assertion in its court-filed Notice of Discovery was patently false,” the motion later reads.

In another matter, Judge Cannone ordered Google to determine if there was a security camera at 34 Fairview Road in Canton the morning O’Keefe was found lifeless in the front yard.

The home was owned by Boston Police Officer Brian Albert.

Albert told a state grand jury he received what he thought was a Google Nest camera for Christmas but it had not been installed.

Brian Albert’s attorney says there was no camera at the home and he doesn’t object to having Google verify that.

It remains unclear if letters the Norfolk DA exchanged with federal authorities will be made public.

Those letters concern the federal probe – and the defense wants them to be made public.

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

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