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What do prosecutors have to prove to convict Karen Read of second-degree murder?

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image of karen read along with prosecutors on both sides

Boston, April 2024

More than two years after prosecutors first accused Karen Read of backing her SUV into her boyfriend and leaving him to die on a snowy lawn in Canton, they face the ultimate task of proving their murder case before a jury in Norfolk Superior Court. And in a case rife with contentious evidence and conflicting theories, the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office carries a heavy burden of proof as it chases a second-degree murder conviction.

Prosecutors allege that after a night out with friends, Read killed Boston Police Officer John O’Keefe while dropping him off at the home of a fellow officer on Jan. 29, 2022. Read’s lawyers, meanwhile, say she’s been framed in a cover-up and have suggested that other afterparty guests are to blame. 

The Mansfield woman has pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder, motor vehicle manslaughter while driving under the influence, and leaving the scene of a collision causing injury and death. The Norfolk County grand jury that indicted Read found probable cause that the 44-year-old “did assault and beat John O’Keefe, with intent to murder such person,” according to a copy of the indictment.

However, while they were able to secure indictments during the grand jury proceedings, prosecutors face a higher burden of proof when Read’s trial begins Tuesday. 

Read more at Boston.

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