Karen Read Is Accused of Running Over Her Boyfriend and Leaving Him to Die — Is She in Jail?

The body of John O'Keefe was discovered in the snow outside of a friend's house. Did Karen Read kill him, or is she being framed?

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Mar. 13 2024, Published 4:42 p.m. ET

Defense attorneys Alan Jackson and David Yannetti stand with their client Karen Read at Norfolk County Superior Court
Source: Getty Images

Karen Read with her attorneys

The town of Canton, Mass. is currently divided by a crime that has gripped their community since it happened in January 2022. According to Boston Magazine, on a cold night two days shy of February, Karen Read and her boyfriend, John O'Keefe, were out having a few drinks. John was a Boston Police Department officer who had been living in Canton for eight years. He was also raising his nephew and niece after their parents died months apart from each other.

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On that night, Read and O'Keefe had a little too much to drink, which led to Read wanting to go home after the bar while O'Keefe chose to keep the party going at a friend's house. What happened next has been explained using two theories. O'Keefe was later found dead on the front law of his friend's home. Read has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder and motor vehicle manslaughter, but her attorney believes she is being framed. Is Karen Read in jail? here's what we know.

Karen Read in court; a Karen Read supporter wears a 'Free Karen Read' t-shirt
Source: Getty Images

Karen Read in court; A Karen Read supporter

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Is Karen Read in jail? She is currently awaiting her trial.

CBS News reported that in September 2023, Read was released on $50,000 bail "shortly after she appeared in court to face charges related to [O'Keefe's] death" the weekend of Jan. 29, 2022. Her trial date was initially scheduled for March 12, 2024 but was pushed back to April 16 per a request by Read's lawyer Alan Jackson, via WCVB.

Jackson told Judge Beverly Cannon he needed more time to go through the 3,074 pages of evidence provided by the Department of Justice. "All of it is brand new and all of it, your honor, appears to us to be exculpatory," said Jackson. "The schedule that the court has suggested, although I’m mindful of moving this along, I cannot… I can’t do it in violation of my client’s due process rights."

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Assistant District Attorney Laura McLaughlin conceded there was much to go through but said 90 to 95 percent of it is "consistent with the Commonwealth's theory of the case and the testimony that went to the Grand Jury." New evidence in the file includes but is not limited to O'Keefe's DNA found on Read's broken tail light as well as human hair found on the back of Read's vehicle. As of the time of this writing, that hair is being tested.

Who is Jen McCabe? She is a witness in the upcoming trial.

One of the witnesses who will be important to both sides of the trial is a woman by the name of Jen McCabe. She was present at the bar where Read and O'Keefe were the last time anyone but Read saw him alive. She is the sister-in-law of Brian Albert, the man whose home O'Keefe was going to and consequently died in front of.

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When Read woke up on the couch of O'Keefe's home around 4:30 a.m., she panicked when she didn't see her boyfriend. His niece was friend's with McCabe's daughter, so Read had her give McCabe a call. Soon, Read, McCabe, and a friend of O'Keefe's were slowly navigating the snowy streets of Canton in search of the missing police officer.

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When they reached Albert's house, Read spotted O'Keefe's body on the left side of the house. She administered CPR while McCabe covered him in blankets from her car and called 911 at 6:04 a.m. McCabe's phone would later become evidence as police discovered a strange Google search on her phone. At 2:27 a.m. McCabe typed in "hos [sic] long to die in cold," hours before O'Keefe's body was found.

This, as well as other information gathered by Read and her defense team, has led them to assemble a theory that Read is being framed by various members of law enforcement. Their theory is based on an alleged feud between Albert’s nephew Colin Albert and O'Keefe. They believe a fight broke out that resulted in O'Keefe's beaten body being thrown out into the snow. The City of Canton stands on either side of this, with some supporting Read and others condemning her.

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