Trooper Michael Proctor, lead investigator in Karen Read case, suspended without pay

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — A Massachusetts State Police board on Monday recommended that Trooper Michael Proctor, the disgraced lead investigator in the Karen Read murder case, be suspended without pay amid an ongoing internal affairs investigation into his “unprofessional” behavior following the death of Boston Police Officer John O’Keefe.

Interim Massachusetts State Police Col. John Mawn accepted the three-person board’s recommendation following a duty status hearing in Framingham, making Proctor’s suspension effective immediately.

Dozens of people gathered outside the Massachusetts State Police barracks in South Boston Monday, celebrating the news that State Trooper Michael Proctor was just suspended without pay.

“It was a step in the right direction, but it’s nowhere close to the finish line,” said Paul Cristoforo, a Karen Read supporter.

“Today was just the icing on the cake, but it will be best when he’s actually fired as an employee of the state,” said another Karen Read supporter, Cathy Carney.

Mawn relieved Proctor of his duty after Judge Beverly Cannone declared a mistrial in the two-month-long murder trial due to a deadlocked jury. Proctor was then transferred out of the Norfolk District Attorney’s State Police Detective Unit. He was administratively assigned to Troop H in field services, but he remains ineligible to work.

“They wouldn’t have done that unless they really thought he did something egregious,” said Peter Elikann, a legal expert for Boston 25 News.

Proctor came under fire for a series of disparaging texts about Read that he sent to friends, family, and supervisors, which he read aloud in court during her trial.

Proctor admitted on the stand that the texts were “unprofessional” and he apologized multiple times, telling the jury his texts did not impact his investigation into the death of John O’Keefe, Read’s Boston police officer boyfriend.

In those texts, Proctor commented on Read’s physical appearance, used vulgar language, suggested he had made up his mind based on evidence as to Read’s guilt, and said he wished Read would kill herself.

After the internal affairs investigation, the department says it might pursue charges against Proctor that would be adjudicated by a state police trial board.

State police noted that every internal affairs investigation culminates in a report that addresses each allegation, which is classified as either unfounded, exonerated, not sustained, or sustained.

Read is accused of killing O’Keefe by striking him with her SUV and leaving him in a snowstorm in Canton in January 2022.

Prosecutors said Read and O’Keefe had been drinking heavily before she dropped him off at a party at the home of Brian Albert, a fellow officer. They said she hit him with her SUV before driving away.

The defense sought to portray Read as the victim, saying O’Keefe was actually killed inside Albert’s home and then dragged outside and left for dead.

At this point the Norfolk County District Attorney still plans to retry Karen Read after her case ended in a mistrial last week.

So how could Proctor’s suspension affect the next trial?

“There’s no dancing around the fact that by the time this retrial happens, he could very well be completely fired or facing certain kinds of charges against him for his behavior in the investigation – so it’s certainly agreed by all that he’s going to look bad if he has to testify again,” said Elikann.


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