Jury selection begins Tuesday in Karen Read murder trial

DEDHAM, Mass. — Jury selection is slated to begin Tuesday in the murder trial of Karen Read, the Mansfield woman accused of killing her Boston police officer boyfriend in 2022.

Read’s defense team added more fuel to their conspiracy fire during a final pretrial hearing at Norfolk Superior Court. Read is charged with running down John O’Keefe in the town of Canton on Jan. 29, 2022.

Read’s defense team argued against a motion filed by the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office to block the jury from hearing their theory that O’Keefe was attacked inside a Canton home by people the prosecution has identified as witnesses in the case.

The state is using Read’s cracked right taillight as evidence she ran down O’Keefe in reverse with her SUV after a night of drinking.

Last week, Judge Beverly Cannone ordered the release of documents including Read’s legal team’s full motion to dismiss the case, as well as the Commonwealth’s opposition to that motion to dismiss.

Read’s lawyers say the Norfolk District Attorney’s presentation of the case was based on “flimsy speculation and presumption, underpinned by a questionable and biased investigation, and highly dubious physical evidence.”

Cannone has also ordered a 200-foot buffer zone around the Norfolk Superior Courthouse in Dedham and restrictions on megaphones and clothing to shield jurors from outside influences.

Karen Benson, a 15-year Canton resident, said the case is so controversial—and emotions are so high—many people in her town won’t even talk about the case with their neighbors.

“I wouldn’t say it’s torn [the town] apart, but you’re definitely on one side or the other, and unless you know who you’re talking to, you don’t talk about it,” Benson said.

The Trial Court has isssued the following order effective for the Commonwealth v. Karen Read trial, which begins...

Posted by Massachusetts State Police on Monday, April 15, 2024

Criminal defense attorney Peter Elikann said finding an impartial jury could be a challenge.

“They won’t find jurors who never heard of this case, but hopefully they will find jurors who have an open mind,” Elikann said.

Read’s trial could last as long as 6 to 7 weeks.

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