Karen Read Boston finance professor charged with manslaughter after running over her police officer boyfriend John O’Keefe and only returning to the scene several hours later.
Why didn’t she get out of her car and check? A Boston business school finance professor has been accused of running over her cop boyfriend and leaving him for dead in a snowbank after dropping him off at a friend’s home for a party in the early hours of Saturday morning during this weekend’s blizzard storm.
Karen Read, 41 – a finance lecturer at Bentley University – is alleged to have run over her boyfriend after dropping him off at a property at a Canton suburb house for an afterparty following a bar crawl. It wasn’t until the following morning the woman called 911.
John O’Keefe – a 46-year-old widower with young children who was a 16-year veteran Boston police officer- was found unconscious in a snowbank at 6am on Saturday with skull fractures, swollen eyes and hypothermia. Temperatures in the Boston area had dipped as low as 23F and as much as 21 inches of snow fell in the area later that day.
He was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Brockton where he was pronounced dead several hours later.
At the time of her arrest, Reid was charged with manslaughter, motor vehicle homicide and leaving the scene according to The District Attorney’s Office.
Professor girlfriend attempts to reach out to cop boyfriend several hours later
The woman pled not guilty the charges against her.
Reid was released on Wednesday after making $50,000 bail.
Her and O’Keefe were in a two-year relationship at the time of his death.
Prosecutors said during Read’s arraignment on Wednesday that her and O’Keefe, who was off duty, had visited two bars in the early hours of Saturday morning before heading off to a Boston suburb after hours fete. Read recalled to investigators that she dropped O’Keefe off around 12.45 am before making a three-point turn and leaving. The woman stated not seeing O’Keefe go inside the house.
According to Read’s attorney, she became worried around 4:30 a.m. due to O’Keefe’s absence. She called him multiple times but the police officer never responded.
The prosecutor said Read contacted a friend, who drove her back to the Fairview Road property where they met up with the woman who was hosting the afterparty there. Read allegedly said, ‘Could I have hit him? Did I hit him?’ while trying to recall what happened to O’Keefe. Read also allegedly said in front of the two women, ‘I wonder if he’s dead. It’s snowing. He got hit by a plow.’
Then they were able to find O’Keefe at the location where Read had dropped him off. He was found amid a snowbank with deep cuts on his arms and his skull. His eyes were swollen shut and he was reportedly bleeding from the nose and mouth.
Read prompted to call 911 after the discovery was made at 6.04 a.m. and practiced CPR on O’Keefe before he was rushed to the hospital.
A member of the Canton Fire Department at the scene told police that Read said, ‘I hit him. I hit him. I hit him. I hit him,’ to her. Prosecutors told investigators that they found a cracked rear tail light on Read’s car before her arrest.
Her attorney argued for lower bail of $5,000, citing Read’s medical issues, including a brain tumor, multiple sclerosis and colitis, as a reasons to lower the fee. However, the judge’s answer was that Read ‘has plenty of reason to flee’ and ordered her held on $50,000 bail.
‘I am disappointed in the rush to judgement against my client. I think there was a lot of political pressure on this district attorney’s office to bring charges in light of the fact a police officer was the victim here, but I will tell you this is a defensible case,’ lawyer David Yannetti said.
‘I will tell you that my client has no criminal intent. She loved this man. She is devastated at what happened and she is innocent and that will come out at trial.’
Read’s car has been impounded and she isn’t allowed to drive.
It is with deep regret the BPD announces the passing of active-duty BPD Off John O’Keefe. Off O’Keefe was a 16-year veteran of the BPD who served admirably in several assignments during his career.
Please keep his family, friends, & our police family in your thoughts 💙🙏.
— Boston Police Superior Officers Federation 🇺🇸 (@BPSOF) January 31, 2022
Read who is scheduled to return to court on March 1, will continue to teach, while the investigation and court trial continue.
‘The university cannot comment further on an active investigation. Our thoughts go out to Officer O’Keefe’s family and loved ones,’ Bentley University said in a statement on Wednesday.
Nevertheless the case continued to auger questions, with many wondering what exactly led up to the circumstances of the professor girlfriend dropping off her boyfriend and leaving him and then thinking to call him after not hearing him a short while later?
Reflected one commentator on social media: ‘How horrible. It was an accident, but how can you break a tail light, and do other damage to your car, and not know you hit someone or something? Not get out and check? Unless she was mad drunk? But then why did he let her drive? Unless he was mad drunk too?
Investigators have footage of the incident from the home’s Ring doorbell camera, but have not yet made it available to the public.
Boston Police Superintendent Chief Gregory Long said in a statement that the department ‘continues to grieve over the tragic loss of our brother.’