Surveillance footage shows Boston cop and girlfriend Karen Read in bar hours before she allegedly murdered him

Karen Read is on trial charged with killing her boyfriend by allegedly intentionally mowing him down and leaving him to die during a snowstorm in January 2022

Martha McHardy,Katie Hawkinson
Friday 10 May 2024 16:44 BST
Video shows Karen Read and cop boyfriend on night of his murder

Surveillance footage has captured Karen Read and her police officer boyfriend in a Boston bar just hours before she is accused of running him over with her car and leaving him to die in a snowstorm.

In the footage, shown in court at Ms Read’s murder trial on Thursday, the professor is seen embracing and kissing John O’Keefe at CF McCarthy’s in Boston on the night of 28 January 2022.

O’Keefe had been out celebrating the acceptance of his niece, who he had custody of, into private school, jurors at Norfolk Superior Court heard.

He was seen enjoying bottles of Bud Light with friends before Ms Read joined in later, sipping a vodka tonic.

The couple appear to be in good spirits, embracing and kissing each other at the bar.

Just hours later, O’Keefe was found dead in the snow outside a fellow police officer’s house in the early hours of 29 January 2022.

Now, Ms Read – a financial analyst and former Bentley University professor – is on trial charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter.

Prosecutors allege that, after going to some bars, she dropped O’Keefe off at the home of retired detective Brian Albert for an after party.

There, she allegedly intentionally ran him over with her black Lexus SUV while intoxicated and fled the scene.

However, Ms Read’s attorneys have claimed that she is being framed by police as part of a vast conspiracy and cover-up.

Footage shows Karen Read embracing and kissing her boyfriend, John O’Keefe
Footage shows Karen Read embracing and kissing her boyfriend, John O’Keefe (AP)

Her attorneys claim O’Keefe was actually beaten up by people at the after-party and thrown outside, arguing that his injuries were consistent with a severe beating, rather than with being struck by a car.

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. Hypothermia was also a contributing factor in his death.

Ms Read’s defence has also argued that a law enforcement official who investigated the case has personal ties to the family of Mr Albert. O’Keefe’s body was found in the snow outside Mr Albert’s home.

During the trial, witnesses have given their accounts of the night O’Keefe died, with witness statements revealing that Ms Read and O’Keefe met a friend, Jennifer McCabe, at a local bar on the evening of 28 January.

When the bar closed, the group were invited to the home of Brian and Nicole Albert.

Ms Read told investigators that she dropped O’Keefe off at the Alberts’ home and went home because she had stomach problems.

In the early hours of 29 January, Ms McCabe said Ms Read 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.

Defendant Karen Read sits at the defense table during her trial
Defendant Karen Read sits at the defense table during her trial (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 lying unresponsive 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 taillight.

Several first responders have testified that Ms Read told them loudly and repeatedly at the scene that she “hit him,” though she never said with her SUV.

Another witness, a police officer who was among the first on the scene, testified that Ms Read said it was her fault and that she was responsible – although she didn’t say how she was responsible.

Prosecutors have argued that Ms Read and O’Keefe’s relationship had been on the rocks prior to his death amid allegations that he was cheating and tensions over the two children in O’Keefe’s care – his orphaned niece and nephew.

But O’Keefe’s friends at the first bar testified in court that the couple seemed content and affectionate with one another that final night.

Meanwhile, Rebecca Trayers, the bartender at the last bar they visited, testified that no one in the group seemed overly drunk.

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