Paramedic tells jurors in Karen Read murder trial he heard a woman say ‘I hit him, I hit him’

The defence used dashcam video in an attempt to point out alleged wrongdoings by police at the crime scene where Karen Read’s cop boyfriend John O’Keefe was found unresponsive

Andrea Cavallier,Dan Gooding
Tuesday 30 April 2024 22:53 BST
Karen Read’s defence team uses dashcam video to point out alleged wrongdoings by police

A paramedic who responded to the scene the night Karen Read allegedly ran over her boyfriend Boston police officer John O’Keefe with an SUV, testified at her murder trial that he heard a woman say “I hit him, I hit him!”

The dramatic testimony was heard at Ms Read’s highly anticipated trial where prosecutors allege she ran over her boyfriend during a snowstorm and left him for dead on the front lawn.

Timothy Nuttall, a Canton firefighter and paramedic, treated O’Keefe whose body was found in the snow in front of a Massachusetts home in the early hours of 29 November 2022, following a night of partying at a bar in Canton.

“I heard ‘I hit him, I hit him,’” Mr Nuttall said, testifying about one of the women at the scene who had blood on her face and was hysterical when he arrived.

Mr Nuttall said he was not certain which woman said it, but that she had blood on her face. Canton police officer Steve Saraf testified earlier that Ms Read had blood on her face after attempting to perform CPR on O’Keefe.

The day began with a cross-examination of Officer Saraf, who was the first member of law enforcement on scene.

Officer Saraf testified that when he arrived at the Massachusetts home, Ms Read had blood on her, and was “hysterical” and “distraught” as she attempted to save O’Keefe by performing CPR, while others at the scene did not.

“She kept saying ‘This is all my fault, this is my fault, I did this. She was very hysterical. She kept asking ‘He’s dead. Is he dead? Is he dead?’” Mr Saraf testified on Monday.

However, during cross examination, Mr Saraf admitted that the only statement he included in his report was Ms Read asking, “Is he dead?”

Defence attorney Alan Jackson then showed the court police dash cam video which he used in an attempt to point out alleged wrongdoings by the police such as not reporting all of Ms Read’s statements.

Karen Read faces charges of second-degree murder, manslaughter while operating under the influence of alcohol, and leaving the scene of personal injury and death
Karen Read faces charges of second-degree murder, manslaughter while operating under the influence of alcohol, and leaving the scene of personal injury and death (AP)

The video shows Ms Read and the two women she was with running when they discovered O’Keefe’s body as Ms Read is heard screaming “No! No! No!”

Mr Jackson asked Mr Saraf if he heard Ms Read say, “My boyfriend, I left him and he never came home.” The officer said he could not understand what she was saying.

Opening statements got under way on Monday in the 44-year-old college finance professor who has been charged with murder in O’Keefe’s death.

Among the details which emerged in opening statements on Monday were text messages that the lead investigator in the case, Massachusetts State Police Trooper Michael Proctor, sent to his high school friends, telling them he had “searched her phone for nudes.”

Mr Proctor is now under investigation himself over his handling of the case. Massachusetts State Police announced this March that he was the focus of an internal investigation for a potential violation of department policy.

Defence attorney Alan Jackson showed the court police dash cam video which he used in an attempt to point out alleged wrongdoings by the police such as not reporting all of Ms Read’s statements
Defence attorney Alan Jackson showed the court police dash cam video which he used in an attempt to point out alleged wrongdoings by the police such as not reporting all of Ms Read’s statements (AP)

An autopsy found that O’Keefe had several abrasions on his right forearm, two black eyes, a cut on his nose, a two-inch laceration to the back of his head and multiple skull fractures. Authorities also say hypothermia was a contributing factor in his death.

Norfolk Assistant District Attorney Adam Lally told the jury that the couple had met in 2004, briefly dated, and then rekindled their relationship in March 2020.

In the weeks leading up to Mr O’Keefe’s death, the relationship had soured, he said, claiming Ms Read had accused the victim of having an affair and had started having one of her own.

Mr Lally told jurors that Ms Read had returned to the scene of the murder before telling a friend her boyfriend had not come home and asking for their help in searching for him.

The prosecution pointed to evidence including the cracked tail light and a Google search by her friend Jennifer McCabe as to how long it would take for someone to die if left out in the cold.

In the defence’s opening statement, Ms Read’s attorney then stood up and told the jury that the prosecution’s case was based on a “shoddy and biased” investigation.

Ms Read’s defence argued in their opening statement that she has been framed for the murder, and is the victim of a cover-up.

In the early hours of the morning on 29 January, Ms Read’s friend Jennifer McCabe said she called her in distress. The finance professor said she had tried to contact O’Keefe and could not reach him, Ms McCabe told authorities. They later met up with another friend, Kerry Roberts, who received similar calls from Ms Read.

Canton police officer Steve Saraf testified that when he arrived at the Massachusetts home on 29 January 2022, Ms Read had blood on her, and was “hysterical” and “distraught” as she attempted to save O’Keefe by performing CPR, while others at the scene did not
Canton police officer Steve Saraf testified that when he arrived at the Massachusetts home on 29 January 2022, Ms Read had blood on her, and was “hysterical” and “distraught” as she attempted to save O’Keefe by performing CPR, while others at the scene did not (AP)

Ms Roberts told police Ms Read called and said her boyfriend was dead, claiming he may have been hit by a snowplough. Ms McCabe also told police Ms Read asked her: “Could I have hit him?”

The group then said they found O’Keefe unresponsive lying in the snow in front of the Alberts’ home. Ms Roberts began CPR, and Ms McCabe called the police.

After paramedics arrived, witnesses said Ms Read repeatedly asked if her boyfriend was dead. Responding troopers also observed Ms Read had a broken tail light.

The officer was taken to a nearby hospital, but succumbed to his injuries, with Ms Read arrested a few days later.

She faces charges of second-degree murder, manslaughter while operating under the influence of alcohol, and leaving the scene of personal injury and death.

The trial is expected to last six to eight weeks.

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