Woman charged with manslaughter after her Boston police officer boyfriend dies after night of drinking

cop killed
Source: UNSPLASH; Boston Police Department

Feb. 3 2022, Published 12:35 p.m. ET

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A Massachusetts woman was arrested in connection to the death of her boyfriend, a 16-year veteran of the Boston Police Department.

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In the early morning hours of Jan. 29, Karen Read, 41, and two friends found the body of 46-year-old John O'Keefe outside a home in Canton. “The victim was cold to touch, with no signs of breath," Assistant Norfolk District Attorney Adam Lally said during a Feb. 2 court hearing in Stoughton.

According to 10 Boston, O’Keefe was covered in blood and vomit, and he had suffered six lacerations to his right arm and a cut to his nose and back of his head. An autopsy showed he also had multiple skull fractures and determined hypothermia contributed to his death.

Prosecutors said the officer was with Read and friends at two local bars the prior evening.

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According to Read, she dropped O’Keefe off at a house party around midnight but was having stomach problems so she headed home.

Early the next morning, Read wasn't able to get in touch with O'Keefe via text or phone. One of Read’s friends allegedly told police that around 5 a.m. Read called her and said: “John's dead, I wonder if he's dead. It's snowing, he got hit by a plow."

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Read asked two friends to go with her to the home where she dropped O'Keefe off and they found his body outside around 6 a.m.

Assistant Norfolk District Attorney Lally said in court that Read, an equity analyst at Fidelity Investments and adjunct lecturer at Bentley University, allegedly told emergency responders: “I hit him, I hit him, I hit him, I hit him."


Prosecutors said Read’s Lexus SUV had a broken rear taillight as well as scratches on the bumper.

Read pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter, leaving the scene of a motor vehicle causing death, and motor vehicle homicide. She posted $50,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court on March 1.

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Read’s defense lawyer, David Yannetti, said “there was no criminal intent” and the manslaughter charge was a “tremendous reach.”

“This was not some random stranger. This was my client's boyfriend, somebody whom she loved,” he said.

Family said in a statement that O’Keefe “was not only a dedicated police officer, he was an exemplary guardian, son, brother, uncle and friend and we were so fortunate to have him as a part of our lives.”

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“People talk about someone who would give you the shirt off their back but that was truly who John was, and it is heartbreaking for us to suddenly be talking about him in the past tense,” loved ones noted.

cop killed
Source: UNSPLASH; Boston Police Department

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