DEDHAM − The trial of Karen Read, who is charged with second-degree murder in the death her boyfriend, Braintree native John O’Keefe, is scheduled to start March 12.
Read, of Mansfield, is charged with hitting O’Keefe, a Boston police officer, with her vehicle after a night of drinking Jan. 29, 2022, in Canton.
O’Keefe was found the following morning in the snow outside a Fairview Road home, which belonged to another Boston police officer.
A defense lawyer asked Cannone to release Read, citing her legal expenses, health complications and what he described as evidence of her innocence.
Bail for Read is set at $80,000. Her team is asking for bail to be dropped entirely.
Read has lost her job and income since being indicted and now has to pay for private health insurance “at significant expense,” according to the motion filed by her lawyers. She has also incurred “considerable” legal fees as her team works on her behalf against a prosecution they say is not cooperating.
Defense attorney David Yannetti argued that Read is one of the “most recognized criminal defendants in America” and is not a flight risk.
Cannone said she would take the matter under advisement and did not issue a decision about the bail request.
Cannone also heard several other motions, including one the defense filed seeking access to any video captured on a Nest camera that was in the home on the night of Jan. 29. The homeowner has said the camera was not set up and recording on the night O’Keefe was fatally injured.
The defense also said prosecutors continue to withhold “56 items of physical evidence,” including results of tests conducted on O’Keefe’s clothing and pieces of a broken taillight found at the scene on the night of his death. Attorneys also argued for access to reports detailing police searches at the Canton home.
“It has now been a year and a half since Ms. Read was arraigned in Norfolk Superior Court – a year and a half and the defense still has not been allowed to so much as look at the physical evidence that the commonwealth has had in its possession for 21 months and has so desperately withheld from the defense on fear of what it might show,” defense attorney Elizabeth Little said. “That is unacceptable. That is unconstitutional.”
Prosecutor Adam Lally said the items were still at the state lab, and testing is not complete. The judge ordered prosecutors to have the testing completed by Nov. 3 and gave a two-week deadline for prosecutors to provide information about the police searches.
Read and her attorneys have repeatedly alleged that others are responsible for O’Keefe’s death. Last month, Cannone denied a request from prosecutors to rein in statements made by the defense. She also denied a request from the defense to remove herself from the case.
On Friday, some of Read’s supporters outside the courthouse carried signs that read “Free Karen Read,” WCVB reported.
This article originally appeared on The Patriot Ledger: Trial date set for Karen Read in death of Braintree’s John O’Keefe