Status of federal involvement in Karen Read case remains confidential

Acting United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Josh Levy declined to provide the status of his office’s involvement in the high-profile Karen Read murder case when asked by 25 Investigates Reporter Ted Daniel Wednesday.

“We don’t comment on whether or not we have open investigations. I know there’s been a lot of reporting, but we have a duty to abide by our guidelines.” Levy said during a roundtable discussion with Daniel and other Boston area reporters who cover federal court. Levy spoke on the record in a conference room for more than an hour on a wide range of topics from his office’s push to combat human trafficking to the state of organized crime in Massachusetts.

In December 2023, 25 Investigates learned of letters Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey sent to the Department of Justice requesting that the federal probe be transferred out of Massachusetts based on conflict-of-interest claims. Morrissey argued the probe was launched by former U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins who Morrissey accused of having a personal vendetta against him. Rollins abruptly resigned in May 2023, after wide-ranging investigations by two federal watchdog agencies determined she abused her position and lied about it.

Levy’s office turned over 3074 pages from the federal probe of Read’s arrest and prosecution, including testimony from witnesses and law enforcement provided to a federal grand jury and findings from 3rd party experts. Judge Beverly Cannone has barred Read’s lawyers from directly referencing the federal involvement in Read’s ongoing trial, but the defense is allowed to cite previous testimony from, “a different proceeding” that members of the state prosecution did not attend, and one witness for the prosecution slipped when he testified that he, “may have spoke to the feds” on a specific date.

In pretrial hearings, Read’s defense said the federal investigation found inconsistencies and conflicts that should lead to the dismissal of her second-degree murder case, while Norfolk County Assistant District Attorney Adam Lally has said the federal investigation found no indication of a cover-up and grand jury minutes from the federal investigation are “largely consistent” with the state’s case.

Read is charged with 2nd-degree murder for the January 29, 2022 death of her then-Boston Police Officer boyfriend John O’Keefe in Canton. Prosecutors allege Read struck O’Keefe with her SUV while intoxicated. Read’s lawyers have long argued that she’s been framed by witnesses for the prosecution and local and state law enforcement.

“I don’t comment where there is a pending matter, I’m certainly not going to comment on the Karen Read case. I certainly wouldn’t comment when there’s an active trial going on,” Levy said.

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