'Deeply divided': mistrial in Karen Read murder case

 July 2, 2024

The Karen Read murder trial ended in Massachusetts on Monday in a mistrial, with the jury deadlocked after 26 hours of deliberation despite being urged to reach a unanimous verdict.

Read was accused of murdering her boyfriend, police officer John O'Keefe, in Boston in January 2022.

"Despite our commitment, we are deeply divided by fundamental differences. No lack of understanding or effort. Consensus is not reachable," the jury wrote in a letter to Judge Beverly Cannone on Monday morning after saying Friday that they were deadlocked.

Cannone issued a dynamite charge to try to force deliberations to continue and reach a verdict, but to no avail.

Case to be retried

Read and her lawyers David Yannetti and Alan Jackson said after the mistrial was declared that an investigator used by the prosecution was compromised.

The Norfolk County District Attorney's Office said within minutes of the mistrial that it would retry the case.

The trial involved 74 witnesses and 700 pieces of evidence, but that wasn't enough to lead to a clear verdict one way or another.

O'Keefe's body was found outside fellow police officer Brian Albert's home in the snow. Read is accused of driving into him with her SUV while drunk and during an argument between them, then leaving him to die on the lawn as a nor'easter raged.

Read said Albert was responsible and that the influential law enforcement family framed her.

Dramatic trial

The trial became quite dramatic, with protesters on both sides becoming vocal and heckling each other. Supporters carried "Free Karen Read" signs.

A blogger Aidan "Turtleboy" Kearney who backed Read was assaulted outside of a bar in Canton over the weekend. Canton residents Jillian Daniels and James Farris have been charged with the assault.

Kearney himself faces charges of witness intimidation stemming from him allegedly showing up at the beginning of the trial to sporting events of the children of witnesses to heckle them.

The "compromised" investigator, Massachusetts State Trooper Michael Proctor, had his vulgar and sexist tweets about Read revealed to the courtroom during the trial, muddying the waters and giving jurors a bad taste in their mouths toward the prosecution.

No doubt a future trial would try to keep him off the stand, while the defense would try a repeat performance. Proctor has been fired over the texts.

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