Watch: Full closing arguments from defense, prosecution in Karen Read murder trial

DEDHAM, Mass. (AP) — The fate of Karen Read is in the hands of jurors who must decide whether she ended a rocky romance by fatally striking her boyfriend with her SUV after a night of heavy drinking or is a victim of a law enforcement coverup aimed at protecting the real suspect who left him for dead outside a house party after a fight.

Jurors will begin a second day of deliberation Wednesday after a two-month murder trial in the death of Boston officer John O’Keefe in January 2022. The case has drawn outsized attention, fueled by true crime fanatics, conspiracy theorists, and Read’s pink-shirted supporters.

Read, a former adjunct professor at Bentley College, is charged with second-degree murder, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, along with manslaughter while operating under the influence of alcohol, and leaving a scene of personal injury and death. The manslaughter charge carries a penalty of five to 20 years in prison, and the other charge has a maximum penalty of 10 years.

In his closing statements Tuesday, defense lawyer Alan Jackson described a cancer of lies that turned into a cover-up, telling jurors the case included a “magic hair,” conflicts of interest, and “butt dials galore.”

WATCH BELOW: Defense attorney Alan Jackson’s closing arguments.

Rather than Read running into O’Keefe, the defense argued he was beaten up inside the house of another Boston police officer and thrown outside in the middle of a snowstorm.

“Just look the other way, that is what they want. That is what they are counting on,” he told the jury.

“The incontrovertible fact is that you have been lied to in this courtroom. Your job is to make sure you don’t ever, ever look the other,” he said. “Your singular duty is to stare down the evidence and do it unflinching and do it unwaveringly. You are the only thing standing between Karen Read and the tyranny of injustice.”

But Assistant District Attorney Adam Lally told jurors there was no conspiracy or coverup and asking them to follow the evidence - including pieces of Read’s broken taillight found at the scene and a hair from O’Keefe’s found on her car. He began his closing argument with the words four witnesses reported hearing Read say after O’Keefe was discovered on the snow:\.

WATCH BELOW: Prosecutor Adam Lally’s closing arguments.

“The defendant repeatedly said I hit him. I hit him. Oh my God. I hit him,” he said “Those were the words that came from the defendant’s mouth on Jan. 29, 2021 as John O’Keefe lay dying on the front law of 34 Fairview Road where the defendant had left him after striking him with her motor vehicle several hours before.”

Lally also painted a picture — through angry texts and voicemails — of a couple whose relationship was failing long before they embarked on a night of heavy drinking. He also raised questions about Read’s behavior that morning, noting she never called 911 nor cried after O’Keefe’s body was found.

He also scoffed at defense suggestions that the owner of the house, Brian Albert, could have murdered O’Keefe. The defense had theorized that Albert, Brian Higgins, a federal agent who had exchanged flirty texts with Read, and another person may have beat up O’Keefe.

“The criminal mastermind and genius that Brian Albert is, 28 years on the Boston police department, he is then going to leave John O’Keefe body on his front lawn. Really? That’s the conspiracy?”

Jackson said investigators focused on Read because she was a “convenient outsider” who saved them from having to consider Albert and other law enforcement officers at the house party. He also pointed to connections between Albert and the state trooper who led the investigation.

“Michael Proctor didn’t draw a thin blue line, he erected a tall blue wall,” Jackson said. “A wall that you can’t scale, a wall that Karen Read certainly couldn’t get over. A wall between us and them. A place you folk are not invited. ‘We protect our own.’”

A block from the court in a Massachusetts suburb, dozens of Read supporters were glued to their phones awaiting a verdict. It was a jubilant mood with supporters chanting, waving American flags and getting encouragement from passing motorists who honked their horns.

“She was unjustly charged and we are hoping she can go home today,” said Vicki Walkling, a supporter dressed in pink. “This case has enraptured everybody because it’s unfair. It could happen to any one of us. Any one of us could be framed for a murder we did not commit.”

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