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Karen Read defense team says federal expert found John O'Keefe was not hit by SUV

Karen Read's attorneys say case should be dismissed due to evidence from federal investigation
Karen Read's attorneys say case should be dismissed due to evidence from federal investigation 02:57

DEDHAM – The defense team for Karen Read said Tuesday that a federal expert concluded evidence does not support that her boyfriend, Boston police officer John O'Keefe, was hit by an SUV as Massachusetts prosecutors allege. Read is charged with killing O'Keefe, during a snowstorm in January 2022.

Read has pleaded not guilty in the second-degree murder case and argues she is being framed and is the victim of a coverup

O'Keefe was found dead outside a home in Canton after spending the evening with friends. Prosecutors say Read was driving drunk and hit O'Keefe with her SUV, leaving him for dead. But defense attorneys allege that O'Keefe was beaten inside the home, and then left outside in the snow.

Allegations of misconduct

A judge heard arguments from both sides during a Tuesday hearing at Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham.

The judge is weighing a defense motion to dismiss charges and a separate motion to sanction and disqualify the Norfolk District Attorney's office from the case.

The defense accuses the District Attorney of prosecutorial misconduct.

Federal investigation

In February, the U.S. Attorney's office provided over 3,000 pages of documents about their investigation into the case. Defense attorney Alan Jackson said in court Tuesday that included in the paperwork was information about federal investigators hiring a reconstruction expert.

"The federal investigators hired, independent of us, we had no idea, and independent of the Commonwealth, hired a professional reconstructionist, three PhDs, to look into exactly this issue," Jackson said. "Did Karen Read's SUV make contact with John O'Keefe? And their conclusion, to a person, was his injuries were inconsistent with the damage on the car. The damage on the car was inconsistent with having made contact with John O'Keefe's body. In other words, the car didn't hit him, and he wasn't hit by the car."

Karen Read appears in court on March 12, 2024. CBS Boston

Jackson argued that the integrity of the case was compromised by personal relationships between people who lived at the scene of the crime and responding police officers.

Prosecutors say "defense by obfuscation"

Prosecutor Adam Lally responded by accusing Jackson of "defense by obfuscation" and "essentially a three-card monte card trick."

"What the defense is obfuscating from is the overwhelming evidence that was presented to the grand jury from a multitude of sources. Forty-two separate witnesses, 56 exhibits, over 1,400 pages of transcripts which clearly demonstrate and indicate that the defendant, Karen Read, killed John O'Keefe," Lally said.

When will Karen Read trial start?

The judge did not yet rule on the motions and took the arguments under advisement.

A trial in the case was scheduled to start Tuesday, but was previously pushed back until April 16.

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