Judge shoots down claims of impropriety in Karen Read murder case as defense pushes for fair trial

DEDHAM, Mass. — A judge shot down claims of impropriety after a defense attorney for Karen Read, who is accused of killing her Boston police officer boyfriend, questioned the court’s ability to provide a fair trial in the case on Tuesday.

Dozens of people chanted on courthouse steps to support Karen Read of Mansfield, who was back in Norfolk Superior Court on Tuesday afternoon, in a chaotic courtroom that experienced several interruptions with hundreds of people on a Zoom call during the open session. Several callers muted and unmuted themselves during the Zoom call while Read sat next to her defense attorneys.

Her attorney, Alan Jackson, argued that the court employs people who are tied closely to the case.

“The decision should be an expression of the unwavering commitment the court has to justice, to fairness... actual impartiality is not enough to deny this motion,” Jackson said.

He added that “a reasonable person looking at this from the outside” might think that the court has some relationship that would compromise its ability to be fair.

Jackson spoke regarding claims that Judge Beverly Cannone had previous relationships with persons tied to the case, claims that the judge firmly denounced.

“Notably there is some allegation that I have some relationship with some man named Sean McCabe. That simply is not the truth,” Cannone said, adding that she does not know Sean McCabe and that “I have never spoken to him.”

“I’ve never interacted with him and I certainly have not socialized with him nor with any family members or witnesses whose names have been said in court,” Cannone said before denying motions raised by the defense.

“I think it points out that this motion to recuse is not credible,” Cannone said.

Cannone called the claims “untrue” and “unsubstantiated.”

“I want to make it very clear that I reject the notion that untrue or unsubstantiated rumors spread on the Internet can force a judge to recuse herself,” Cannone said.

“All four points raised in the defendant’s motion are without merit. Your motion is denied,” Cannone said in court.

After the judge offered the defense a chance to appeal, Jackson said “We’re not inclined to appeal.”

Prosecutor Adam Lally said in court that he believes in the court’s ability to provide Read with a fair trial.

“I personally do not or never had any questions or a moment of pause in this court’s ability to be fair and impartial in this case,” Lally said.

Lally said witnesses are being harassed because of information that has been shared with media. He asked for a gag order in case.

Read is accused of hitting and killing O’Keefe, her boyfriend, with her SUV while dropping him off at a party at the home of a fellow police officer in Canton back in January 2022.

O’Keefe’s bruised and battered body was discovered in a snowbank outside the home the next morning.

Prosecutors allege Read was drunk behind the wheel when she hit O’Keefe while executing a 3-point turn in the driveway.

Read has maintained her innocence from the start, and her defense team says there’s evidence to not only prove she is innocent but also points to a cover-up.

Defense attorneys have alleged O’Keefe was brutally beaten and attacked by a dog inside the Canton home and that Read is being framed for his murder.

Karen Read’s father, William, who spoke to Investigative Reporter Ted Daniel on Tuesday, said “I’m very grateful for their support.”

“It befuddles me that this district attorney, Morrisey and aides cannot say, ‘Okay, there was enough reasonable doubt to dismiss this case,’” William Read said.

Read said a legal defense fund for his daughter has nearly 900 contributors who’ve pitched in over $120,000.

“Here is this growing avalanche of people who are questioning what has happened here and questioning our institutions,” Read said.

WATCH the full hearing below:

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