Karen Read’s lawyers say another juror confirmed ‘not guilty’ vote


The juror allegedly said they were “uncomfortable” with how the trial ended, describing the last day of deliberations as a “whirlwind.”

Karen Read looked out to her supporters while her father, William, gave a thumbs up as they reacted to the news that a mistrial was declared in her trial outside of Norfolk Superior Court. Jessica Rinaldi/Boston Globe Staff

Karen Read’s lawyers say a fourth juror has come forward with confirmation that the purportedly deadlocked jury internally agreed to acquit Read of second-degree murder and leaving the scene of a fatal accident. 

Read’s high-profile murder trial ended in a mistrial last week, after jurors said they were at an impasse and “starkly divided” following days of deliberations. The defense filed a motion on Monday asking Judge Beverly Cannone to dismiss two of the three charges against Read, citing unsolicited information from three of the 12 deliberating jurors. 

Read, 44, is charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter while operating a motor vehicle under the influence, and leaving the scene of a fatal accident. Prosecutors say she was driving drunk and intentionally backed her SUV into her boyfriend, Boston Police Officer John O’Keefe, outside a home in Canton on Jan. 29, 2022. However, Read’s lawyers maintain she was framed in a vast conspiracy meant to protect the family who owned the home where O’Keefe was found unresponsive in the snow.

In their Monday motion, the defense attorneys said they had received information from three jurors — identified in court documents as “Juror A,” “Juror B,” and “Juror C” — “indicating in no uncertain terms that the jury had a firm 12-0 agreement that Ms. Read was not guilty of two of the three charges against her.” 

In a supplemental affidavit filed Wednesday, defense attorney Alan Jackson said he later heard a similar account from a fourth juror, identified as “Juror D.” 

The juror, who contacted Jackson on Monday, allegedly said they were “uncomfortable” with how the trial ended, describing the last day of deliberations as a “whirlwind” and noting they found the conclusion “very confusing.” 

According to Jackson’s affidavit, Juror D said the jury unanimously agreed Read was “not guilty” of murder and leaving the scene of a fatal accident, only deadlocking on the OUI manslaughter charge and its lesser included offenses.

“Juror D said that the jury actually discussed telling the judge that they had agreed unanimously on NOT GUILTY verdicts for Counts 1 and 3, but they were not sure if they were allowed to say so,” Jackson wrote. 

According to Jackson, Juror D also reported that after the jury was excused, “many of the jurors appeared uncomfortable with how things ended, wondering, Is anyone going know that we acquitted [Karen Read] on Count 1 and 3? No one ever asked about those counts.” [Note: Italics are Jackson’s.]

Juror D allegedly said they felt “very uncomfortable” with the result of the trial, adding, “It did not feel right.” 

“I inquired whether, in his/her opinion, other jurors would agree and acknowledge that NOT GUILTY verdicts were reached on Count 1 and Count 3,” Jackson wrote. “Juror D, without hesitation, said in substance, Every one of us will agree and acknowledge that we found [Karen Read] NOT GUILTY of Counts 1 and 3. Because that’s what happened.”

In a supplemental motion filed Wednesday, Read’s lawyers reiterated their belief that a mistrial was unnecessary for two of the three charges, as the jury had reached a unanimous conclusion. A retrial on those charges would violate laws against double jeopardy, the defense argues. 

Prosecutors have said they intend to retry Read’s case, and Cannone set a hearing for July 22 to determine next steps. In a statement Monday, a spokesperson for the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office said the DA’s office was examining the defense motion “in anticipation of filing a response” and looks forward to picking a new trial date on July 22. 

Prosecutors had yet to file their response as of 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

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