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Karen Read murder trial date pushed back to April 16, defense seeks additional delay

Karen Read murder trial date pushed back
Karen Read murder trial date pushed back 02:50

DEDHAM – The second-degree murder trial for Karen Read has been pushed back more than one month, though her defense team is seeking additional time to go over newly received documents. Read is accused of killing her boyfriend, Boston police officer John O'Keefe, in 2022.

Both the prosecution and defense teams had asked the judge to delay the start of the trial, which had been scheduled for March 12 until the judge announced the new date at a hearing on Monday.

A jury trial is now scheduled to begin on April 16.

Police set up barricades and yellow caution tape outside the courthouse in Dedham in an attempt to contain more than 100 Karen Read supporters who cheered as she arrived, including the controversial blogger known as "Turtleboy". 

Federal investigation into case

The hearing, which lasted about 15 minutes, was held at Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham.

The defense previously filed a motion to dismiss the charges. Read's attorneys additionally had filed a motion to sanction and disqualify the Norfolk District Attorney's office from the case over what they argue was prosecutorial misconduct.

Both sides on Friday received over 3,000 pages of documents from the U.S. Attorney's office about their investigation into the case. Defense attorney Alan Jackson said the new information "appears to be exculpatory," while the prosecution said it was "about 90% consistent" with what was already known.

Defense seeks more time

After the judge set a March 6 deadline to file any supplemental motions into the request to dismiss the case and disqualify the prosecution, Jackson said "there is no possible way" his team could get through the documents by that day.

Jackson added that an April 16 trial date is "probably not realistic."

The judge asked the defense to put in writing why that is not possible by March 6, ahead of a hearing scheduled for March 12. 

What Karen Read is accused of

Prosecutors accuse Read of hitting O'Keefe and leaving him to die in the snow during a winter storm in January 2022. Read's defense argues that she is being framed as part of a coverup.

Read has pleaded not guilty in the case.

Last week, prosecutors said in court documents that a sample recovered from a broken taillight was a match for O'Keefe's DNA. They also said the taillight is the same material as the one from Read's car.

In November, Read won an appeal before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that gave her access to phone records belonging to one of the people her lawyers said is actually responsible for O'Keefe's death.

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