Suffolk County

Karen Read’s attorney claims DA Michael Morrissey is target of federal probe

CANTON, Mass. — An attorney representing Karen Read, the woman accused of hitting and killing her Boston police officer boyfriend in 2022, told a judge the Norfolk County district attorney is the target of an active federal investigation.

During a hearing in Norfolk Superior Court Thursday, Read’s attorney, David Yannetti, said he was told District Attorney Michael Morrissey is the focus of an ongoing U.S. Attorney’s Office investigation.

“The Norfolk D.A.’s Office and the Karen Read defense team participated in a conference call yesterday with a representative of the U.S Attorney’s Office. The U.S. Attorney confirmed during that conference call, confirmed for both parties, that not only has there been a federal investigation of this case, but it is ongoing. It’s not over,” Yannetti said. “It is clear from those letters that District Attorney Morrissey is well aware he’s the target of a federal investigation as a result of his conduct in this case.”

A U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesperson appeared to contradict what Yannetti said in court.

“We are aware of today’s hearing in Norfolk County Superior Court in the Karen Read matter. In connection with this matter, at no time has the U.S. Attorney’s Office named any person or entity as a target of an investigation, to anyone,” U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesperson Christina Sterling wrote.

The letters Yannetti referred to are eight correspondences between the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office.

25 Investigates first reported on the existence of the letters in December. Morrissey’s letter provides the first official confirmation that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts is looking into the arrest and prosecution of Read, who’s accused of striking her Boston police officer boyfriend John O’Keefe with her Lexus SUV and leaving him to die in a snowstorm.

Norfolk prosecutor Adam Lally filed a protective order to seal the eight documents from being publicly released. The judge did not rule on the motion Thursday.

The Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office also disputed Yannetti’s statements.

“No part of the communication with the office of the United States Attorney yesterday, or at any point, has indicated that the Norfolk District Attorney or any member of this office is the target of the federal investigation. Mr. Yannetti misrepresented that completely,” said Norfolk D.A. spokesperson David Traub.

WATCH LIVE: Hearing being held in Karen Read murder case

WATCH LIVE: Latest hearing in the case against Karen Read, the woman accused of killing her Boston police officer boyfriend in Canton.

Posted by Boston 25 News on Thursday, January 18, 2024

Yannetti said he would use the letters to argue for Karen Read’s innocence.

“We have the eight letters. We’ve seen them. We’ve read them. We are using them. The genie cannot be put back in the bottle,” Yannetti said. “Those letters are powerful evidence that we will use to publicly support our motion for sanctions [against the prosecution].”

On Friday, 25 Investigates reported that federal officials do not oppose the release of the letters.

Read will be back in court for a pre-trial hearing on February 15.

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

Download the FREE Boston 25 News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Boston 25 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch Boston 25 News NOW

Comments on this article