Karen Read is a Bentley University finance lecturer in Massachusetts who is accused of manslaughter in the vehicular death of her boyfriend, a Boston police officer named John O’Keefe.
The District Attorney for Norfolk County, Michael Morrissey, wrote in a press release that “Massachusetts State Police homicide detectives attached to Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey’s office tonight arrested Karen A. Read, 41, of Mansfield, on a manslaughter warrant in the Saturday death of John O’Keefe, a Boston Police officer who was found unresponsive outside a Canton residence early Saturday morning (January 29, 2022).”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Read Found O’Keefe in a Snowbank With Multiple Injuries, Prosecutors Say
Read was given $50,000 bail at an arraignment hearing on February 2, 2022, in which prosecutors alleged new details. She pleaded not guilty.
According to CBS Boston, the prosecutor said in court that Read and O’Keefe, who was off-duty at the time, went to two bars early Saturday morning and then went to a home in Canton. Read dropped O’Keefe off around 12:45 p.m., “made a three-point turn and left, but did not see O’Keefe go inside the house,” the television station reported prosecutors allege.
Her attorney said she grew worried around 4:30 a.m. after not hearing from O’Keefe and when he didn’t answer his phone, so she drove back to the home with a friend and is accused of asking, “Could I have hit him? Did I hit him? I wonder if he’s dead. It’s snowing. He got hit by a plow.”
According to CBS, they discovered O’Keefe “where he was dropped off, lying in the snow.” He had “severe cuts” to the arm and head, his eyes were “swollen shut, and he was bleeding “from the nose and mouth.” He had multiple skull fractures and hypothermia, the station reported. Read is accused of telling a paramedic, “I hit him. I hit him. I hit him.”
Her attorney told the court she has a “brain tumor, multiple sclerosis and colitis.”
“I am disappointed in the rush to judgement against my client. I think there was a lot of political pressure on this district attorney’s office to bring charges in light of the fact a police officer was the victim here, but I will tell you this is a defensible case. I will tell you that my client has no criminal intent. She loved this man. She is devastated at what happened and she is innocent and that will come out at trial,” David Yannetti, Read’s attorney told reporters, according to CBS Boston.
2. The DA Says That Read Left the Scene of a ‘Motor Vehicle Homicide’
The District Attorney wrote that the charge came after “several days of intensive investigation” by detectives.
“Read, who authorities say drove to the Fairview Road area with O’Keefe, possibly shortly after midnight, is charged with manslaughter, leaving the scene of a motor vehicle collision causing death, and motor vehicle homicide,” the release says.
“O’Keefe, 46, or Canton, was transported to the Good Samaritan Medical Center following his discovery and was pronounced dead several hours later. Morrissey said that Read was taken to the State Police Blue Hills Barracks for processing this evening.”
“Additional narrative information may be put into the record during arraignment tomorrow,” District Attorney Morrissey said. “Tonight our thoughts are very much with those whom John left behind.”
3. Read Has a Lengthy Career in Teaching & Finance
On LinkedIn, Read lists her specialties as “Member, CFA Institute” and “Member, Boston Security Analysts Society.”
She is listed as being on the faculty in the Finance Department of Bentley University, a position she held for more than 13 years.
She has worked in equity research in the tech sector for Fidelity Investments for more than 14 years.
Before that, she was a financial analyst for Sensata Technologies, a client account manager for Brown Brothers Harriman, and a trading room assistant for Hughey Center for Financial Services.
She graduated from the Bentley College Elkin B. McCallum Graduate School of Business and had a BS in finance from Bentley University. “Accelerated studies, graduated in three years. Presidential Scholar ’99, ’00,” her page reads.
She is an adjunct lecturer; the university declined to comment, according to CBS Boston.
4. Read Was Captured on Video Being Taken to Court
Video published by local television stations captured Read being taken to court.
5. The Boston Police Department Remembered O’Keefe as a Kind Person Who Was ‘Dedicated to His Family’
Boston police Superintendent-in-Chief Gregory Long released a statement on the death of Officer John O’Keefe. It reads:
The Boston Police Department continues to grieve over the tragic loss of our brother Police Officer John O’Keefe. John was a kind person, dedicated to his family, and will be greatly missed by his coworkers and anyone who had the privilege of meeting him. Today, the Massachusetts State Police and the Norfolk County District Attorney‘s Office arrested the person responsible for John’s death.
The Boston Police Department extends our sincere thanks to the members of the Canton Police Department, Canton Fire Department, Massachusetts State Police and Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office for their efforts from the initial response under difficult conditions to today’s arrest.
At this time, we are stunned and saddened and offer whatever support we can to John’s family. Boston Police Peer Support will be available to assist department members in need of emotional support.
The department noted, “Officer O’Keefe was a 16-year veteran of the BPD who served admirably in several assignments during his career.”
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