Mistrial Declared in Karen Read Murder Case

It’s unclear whether or not the case will be picked up again

The jury was unable to come to a unanimous decision on whether Karen Read — the woman accused of murdering her late boyfriend, Boston police officer John O’Keefe, by running him over with a car in 2022 — is guilty or not. Massachusetts judge Beverly J. Cannone declared a mistrial in the case on Monday.

Read was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter while operating under the influence of alcohol, and leaving the scene of personal injury and death after O’Keefe’s body was discovered. She pleaded not guilty.

After a 10-week trial, which began on April 16 in Dedham, Massachusetts’ Norfolk Superior Court, a 12-person jury was deadlocked after over 24 hours of deliberation. Early Monday afternoon, the jury informed Judge Cannone for the second time that they were unable to come to a unanimous decision. “Despite our commitment to the duty entrusted to us, we find ourselves deeply divided by fundamental differences in our opinions and state of mind,” a note sent to the judge read. “The divergence in our views are not rooted in a lack of understanding or effort but deeply held convictions that each of us carry, ultimately leading to a point where consensus is unattainable.” After being asked to deliberate once more, the jury remained hung.


Read’s case became a fixture of interest both in Massachusetts and online, as the prosecution and defense have failed to agree on even the most basic admittances of evidence. On January 29, Read went to a bar with her boyfriend, Boston police officer John O’Keefe, dropping him off at the home of a fellow police officer, Brian Albert, just after midnight. Surveillance footage showed she had several drinks while at the bar, and she admitted in a frantic early morning call to O’Keefe’s niece that she remembered very little about the previous night and that O’Keefe had not come home. After returning to the home to begin a search, Read and two other women found O’Keefe’s body and called first responders. According to testimony from officers, Read said, “I hit him” repeatedly while crying to EMT, but her defense argued that she asked the statement as a question, saying, “Did I hit him?” The prosecution painted Read as an alcoholic girlfriend who ran from the scene of the crime. To the defense, she was a flawed girlfriend framed by members of the Boston Police Department.

The court will reconvene on July 22 to determine next steps and whether or not the case will be re-tried.