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According to Karen Read’s defense team, the jury was unanimous in its decision to acquit her of the murder charge

According to Karen Read’s defense team, the jury was unanimous in its decision to acquit her of the murder charge
According to Karen Read’s defense team, the jury was unanimous in its decision to acquit her of the murder charge

DEDHAM, Massachusetts – The jury in the trial of Karen Read unanimously concluded that she was not guilty of murder or leaving the scene of a fatal accident. They could only disagree on the remaining charge of manslaughter before the judge abruptly declared a mistrial, her defense team said Monday.

The disclosure came in a defense motion Monday, arguing that retrial of Read on those two counts would “violate the protection against double jeopardy” in the U.S. Constitution and the Massachusetts Constitution. If the court needs additional information, the defense said, it should authorize a “post-verdict hearing” in which they would be allowed to “request additional evidence from the jury” that they “unanimously acquitted the defendant of two of the three counts.”

Read’s attorney, Alan Jackson, also filed an affidavit detailing how he was contacted directly by a juror. Read’s attorney, David Yannetti, filed a statement saying he was contacted by two people who received information “from two different jurors.”

In a statement, the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office said it is “reviewing the motion to file a response. We look forward to setting a new trial date on July 22.”

Judge Beverly Cannone also ordered Monday that the names of the jurors in the case not be released. In her ruling, she said there was “a risk of immediate and irreparable harm should the list be made available to the public at this time.”

She did not specify the potential risk but said that people connected to the case had been charged with intimidation.

Read was accused of ramming her boyfriend, a Boston police officer, with her SUV in January 2022 and leaving him to die in a snowstorm.

A judge declared the mistrial on the fifth day of deliberations after jurors said they were hopelessly deadlocked. The defense said she declared the mistrial without questioning the jury on each count and without giving lawyers for both sides a chance to respond.

The motion filed in Norfolk County Superior Court states that a juror told the defense that the jury had acquitted Read on first-degree murder and leaving the scene of an accident causing death by a 12-0 vote. Attorneys also received second- and third-hand testimony from two other jurors, all of which indicated that the consensus was to acquit Read on first-degree murder. The motion asked for the murder and leaving the scene charges to be dismissed.

However, the jury could not agree on the charge of manslaughter while driving under the influence of alcohol, the juror told the lawyers.

Read, a former adjunct professor at Bentley College, was charged with second-degree murder and other charges in connection with the death of O’Keefe, a 16-year-old member of the Boston Police Department who was found outside the home of another Boston Police officer in Canton. An autopsy found that O’Keefe died of hypothermia and blunt force trauma.

The defense claimed that O’Keefe was killed in the house after Read dropped him off at the meeting and that police officers decided to pin the blame on her because she was a “convenient outsider.”

A turning point in the two-month trial came when the lead investigator, State Trooper Michael Proctor, was forced to admit and apologize for sending offensive text messages about Read to friends, family and colleagues during the investigation.

Proctor also admitted to texting his sister saying he wished Read would “kill himself,” which he described as a figure of speech and that “my emotions got the better of me.” He apologized for some of his wording but insisted it had no bearing on the investigation.

Proctor admitted in his testimony that he is friends with Brian Albert’s brother and his wife – but stressed that this had no bearing on the investigation and that he had never been to their house before O’Keefe’s death. Brian Albert is a Boston police officer who hosted the house party in Canton where O’Keefe’s body was found in the front yard.

The Massachusetts State Police relieved Proctor of his duties following the trial, saying the move was a result of the agency’s previous decision to launch an internal investigation into possible serious misconduct.

On Monday, the State Police Hearing Board ruled that Proctor should be suspended without pay. An internal investigation into Proctor is ongoing.

The State Police Association did not respond to a request for comment, and a phone number for Proctor could not be found.

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