Karen Read Trial: Who Is the Defendant and What Did She Do?

Karen Read in the court for the murder trial (Photo Credit: David L. Ryan | The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Disclaimer: The article contains mentions of murder. Reader discretion is advised.

On January 29, 2022, authorities discovered the lifeless body of former police officer John O’Keefe outside his friend’s house in the Boston suburb of Canton. Reports suggested that O’Keefe’s girlfriend, Karen Read, told the emergency responder that she “hit him.” Police then sent his body for an autopsy and initiated an investigation. However, authorities later arrested Read for manslaughter and other charges. Although she pleaded not guilty, Read is currently going on trial for the murder of John O’Keefe.

According to The Sun, Karen Read worked in the financial sector in Massachusetts and was also a lecturer at Bentley University. ABC News mentioned that Karen Read and John O’Keefe began dating in their 20s. The publication stated that they reconnected on social media almost a decade later, and she became a significant part of his family. However, the couple’s relationship became strained, and they had a lot of arguments. Before his death, Read dropped O’Keefe at his friend’s house and waited outside. When he didn’t call her for 10 minutes, Read drove back to O’Keefe’s house and tried calling him. However, he didn’t pick up her calls.

Although Karen Read fell asleep, she woke up to find out that her boyfriend wasn’t home yet. She, along with her two friends, went to check on him. The trio then discovered John O’Keefe’s body outside his friend’s house and called 911, following which authorities sent his body for an autopsy. NBC News noted that O’Keefe died because of blunt impact injuries to the head and hypothermia. Soon after, police arrested Karen Read and charged her with second-degree murder, among other charges. The trial began in April 2024, and Read’s attorneys stated that their client was being framed.

What did Trooper Michael Proctor say during Karen Read’s trial?

During the Karen Read trial, the case’s lead investigator and Massachusetts State Police Trooper Michael Proctor took the stand and testified in court. Per CBS News, the defense presented a series of text messages that Proctor sent to several people while investigating Karen Read’s case. In one of the messages, Proctor called Read a “whackjob” and told his wife that he couldn’t wait to “lock whackjob up.”

While replying to the questions posed by the defense, Proctor admitted that these messages were “unprofessional.” However, he stated that he sent those messages after finding strong evidence against Karen Read. Citing his statement, CBS News reported, “Based on the day’s investigation, it was clear that Ms. Read had struck Mr. O’Keefe with her vehicle.” Subsequently, one of the messages stated that he didn’t find any “nudes” while searching Read’s phone.

The day concluded with Trooper Michael Proctor denying that he picked the suspect and investigating the case to support his choice. Karen Read still denies her role in the murder and pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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