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Massachusetts professor charged in cop boyfriend’s killing calls it a ‘cover-up’

Massachusetts professor charged in cop boyfriend’s killing calls it a ‘cover-up’

A Boston-area professor accused of killing her boyfriend, a police officer, in January 2022 after she allegedly hit him with her vehicle while intoxicated, described the case against her as a “cover-up.”

A Norfolk County grand jury in June 2022 indicted Bentley University professor Karen Read, 42, of Mansfield, for second-degree murder, motor vehicle manslaughter and leaving the scene of a collision, which allegedly caused 46-year-old Boston Police Office John O’Keefe’s death.

“I tried to save his life. I tried to save his life at 6 in the morning. I was covered in his blood. I was the only one trying to save his life,” Read told reporters Thursday outside the Norfolk Superior Court after a hearing, earning applause from friends and family, according to FOX 25.

The decision to speak independently to media with support from her attorneys was unusual considering Read has yet to face trial.

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“We know who spearheaded this cover-up. You all know,” she said.

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O’Keefe died in the snow outside Boston Police Officer Brian Albert’s former home in Canton in the early morning hours of Jan. 29, 2022. Albert has since sold the home.

Investigators say Read drove O’Keefe to Albert’s home on Fairview Road in Canton for a party shortly after midnight Jan. 29, 2022, after drinking. Phone records and witness testimony suggest the pair were experiencing “strains within their relationship,” FOX 25 reported, citing police.

In one voicemail left after Read dropped O’Keefe off at the party, she apparently “screamed to the victim that she hated him,” according to FOX 25.

That morning, around 6, authorities found O’Keefe on the ground outside the Canton home just before a nor’easter struck the town with 21 inches of snow. Authorities transported the off-duty officer to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead several hours later.

Albert and his sister-in-law, Jennifer McCabe, were home at the time, but both witnesses told investigators they never saw O’Keefe make it into the house that evening before McCabe found his body outside the next morning.

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Read apparently became worried when she did not hear back from O’Keefe later on and returned to the Canton home the morning of Jan. 29, where she and McCabe found him on the ground.

The officer had cuts on his arms and a 2-inch laceration on the back of his head, skull fractures and both of his eyes were swollen shut, according to hospital records obtained by FOX 25

Read repeatedly asked McCabe, “Could I have hit him?” and “Did I hit him?” that morning after noticing one of her taillights was shattered, evidence the state is using against Read.

But Read’s attorneys have argued that phone evidence implicates Albert and McCabe in O’Keefe’s murder, according to an April 12 motion filed in Norfolk County. 

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McCabe allegedly searched how long it takes to “die in cold” at 2:27 a.m. on Jan. 29, three hours after O’Keefe was last seen walking toward Albert’s house, the motion states.

McCabe also allegedly “took calculated steps to purge her phone of this inculpatory search and, at the same time, attempted to delete her communications with Brian Albert and remove a screenshot of his contact information from her phone, which she had obviously shared with someone that morning,” the motion says.

McCabe’s lawyer, Kevin Reddington, said Thursday that McCabe “has been cooperating with the government every step of the way” and “provided her testimony as any good citizen would do,” FOX 25 reported.

Read’s attorneys have questioned whether O’Keefe may have been beaten at the party or bit by a dog that apparently hasn’t been seen since that day, according to FOX 25, but a medical examiner saw no signs that O’Keefe had been in any kind of fight.

“Me and my family and my attorneys and my team have marshaled every resource to get to the truth. It just feels like no one else wants it,” Read said Thursday.

The Boston Police Department described O’Keefe as “a kind person” who was “dedicated to his family” in a February 2022 statement after his death.

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