Karen Read trial: Prosecutors claim she knew where to look for cop BF John O'Keefe's body in the snow

Karen Read trial: Prosecutors claim she knew where to look for cop BF John O'Keefe's body in the snow
John O'Keefe was allegedly struck by Karen Read's car, resulting in fatal bleeding in the brain (LinkedIn, Boston PD)

Warning: This article contains a recollection of crime and can be triggering to some, readers’ discretion advised.

NORFOLK, MASSACHUSETTS: After two years of legal proceedings, prosecutors in the high-profile case involving Karen Read and John O'Keefe have presented their opening statements.

According to Law&Crime, Read allegedly hit her boyfriend, O'Keefe, with her car early in the morning on January 29, 2022.

They claimed she left him for dead during a snowstorm when temperatures were below freezing.

Norfolk County Assistant District Attorney Adam Lally presented his 40-minute opening statement to the jury.

Lally's opening statements aimed to prove Read guilty of second-degree murder, manslaughter while operating under the influence of alcohol, and leaving the scene of personal injury and death.

Prosecutor describes the crime involving Karen Read and John O’Keefe

During his opening statements, Albert Lally emphasized to the jury, "You are the sole arbiters of the facts of this case, you are the ones who find the facts — I will reiterate that: facts — of what the evidence demonstrates in this case." 

He then described the crime, where John Keefe was struck by Read's car, resulting in bleeding in the brain that left him dead.

Lally introduced the names of individuals who will testify to all the facts in the case. 

Additionally, he discussed O'Keefe's parental responsibilities, noting that O'Keefe had taken care of his niece and nephew following the tragic deaths of his sister and brother-in-law in 2013. 

Lally also highlighted O'Keefe's pride in being a member of the Boston Police Department.

Lally then proceeded to recount the events of the evening in question, which began with O’Keefe and some friends at a bar on January 28, as a major snowstorm hit the area. 

Read later joined O’Keefe at another bar, the Waterfall Bar & Grille in Canton, where they met up with O’Keefe’s friend Brian Albert and several others. 

After consuming several drinks, Albert invited Read and O’Keefe to his house a few miles away for an after-party. 

Read drove O’Keefe to Albert’s house and dropped him off shortly after midnight. 

Lally stated that experts would testify that Read reversed her SUV more than 60 feet at a speed of 24 mph.

He claimed that Read struck O’Keefe, causing his body to land in Albert’s front yard near a flagpole and fire hydrant. 

Allegedly, Read then drove home and woke up shortly before 5 am in a panic, realizing that O’Keefe hadn’t returned home and wasn’t answering his phone calls. 

She had O’Keefe’s niece contact Jennifer McCabe, Albert’s sister-in-law and a friend of O’Keefe, who was also at the party to inform her that O’Keefe was unreachable.

According to Lally, Read initially told McCabe that the last time she saw O’Keefe was at the Waterfall bar.

However, McCabe is expected to testify that she reminded Read that she saw the couple leave the bar and noticed Read’s SUV outside Albert’s house.

Prosecutor explains the aftermath of the incident with Read realizing O'Keefe’s absence

McCabe and Kerry Roberts picked up Read at her home and drove back to Albert's house.

Lally stated that they drove up to the house with Read in the back seat in the middle of a blizzard with 'snow piling up'

Lally said that she knew where to look because she hit him, “The defendant is the only one who sees O’Keefe,” 

He continued, “She yells for them to stop. She gets out and makes a beeline to right where Mr O’Keefe’s body was found.”

McCabe called 911, and paramedics arrived and rushed him to the hospital. Doctors pronounced him dead. Lally said his body temperature was 80 degrees.

Firefighters also responded to the home. According to Lally, three of them heard Read say, “I hit him, I hit him, I hit him.”

What did the autopsy report of John O’Keefe say?

Lally also said police officers drove to O’Keefe and Read's home around 8:22 am and pulled up behind Read’s car.

He said that the police cruiser is equipped with dashcam footage that shows the SUV’s back right tail light was busted.

An autopsy determined O’Keefe died of blunt force trauma to the head and hypothermia.

Autopsy photos showed he had puffy black eyes. Read’s defense lawyers will argue that O’Keefe’s injuries are more consistent with him being in a fight after he made it into the Albert house. 

But Lally laid the groundwork for refuting the defense argument: He said medical examiners determined that his eyes became puffy because of bleeding to his brain.

Albert Lally revealed Jennifer McCabe’s Google search

Another significant matter pertains to the Google search for “ho[w] long to die in the cold” conducted by McCabe, along with the timing of this search. 

Lally mentioned that three experts, including the individual who developed the code for the data extraction program capable of revealing such details, will testify that McCabe made this search around 6:23 am. Conversely, the defense's experts in data extraction will argue that she made the search at 2:27 a.m., well before O’Keefe’s body was discovered.

Lally stated that in the following days as the snow melted, investigators discovered fragments of Read’s car's taillight in the yard.

Additionally, Lally mentioned that they found O’Keefe’s DNA on the bumper.

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