Mistrial Declared In Karen Read Murder Case Involving Boston Police Officer

The murder trial of Karen Read, accused of killing her boyfriend, Boston Police Officer John O’Keefe, ended in a mistrial on Monday. After five days of deliberation, the jury in Dedham, Massachusetts, was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. Judge Beverly Cannone declared the mistrial after receiving notes from the jury foreman highlighting their irreconcilable differences.

“Our perspectives on the evidence are starkly divided. Some members of the jury firmly believe that the evidence surpasses the burden of proof establishing the elements of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Conversely, others find the evidence fails to meet this standard,” the jury foreman wrote. He added that continuing deliberations would be futile and force jurors to compromise their deeply held beliefs.

Judge Cannone responded, “I’m not going to do that to you, folks. Your service is complete. I’m declaring a mistrial in this case. Thank you so much for your service.”

Following the mistrial, Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey stated that he intends to retry Read. The trial garnered significant public interest, with supporters of Read gathering outside the courthouse daily. They celebrated the mistrial with cheers and chants of “free Karen Read.”

Read’s lawyer, Alan Jackson, argued that the charges against her were baseless. “This is what it looks like when you bring false charges against an innocent person. The Commonwealth did their worst… They failed,” Jackson said. The defense maintained that Read was framed by other law enforcement officers to cover up that O’Keefe was actually beaten by fellow officers.

The jury, consisting of six men and six women, was tasked with determining if Read backed over O’Keefe with her Lexus SUV, leaving him to die in the cold on January 29, 2022, in Canton. The two-month trial included testimony from 74 witnesses.

Supporters of Read believe the mistrial vindicates her and are calling for the charges to be dropped. They argue that the evidence presented did not meet the burden of proof required for a conviction.