Photo: Larry W. Smith/Getty Images
A Massachusetts teacher pleaded not guilty to running over her police officer boyfriend and left for dead in a snowbank after a night of drinking in suburban Boston last weekend.
Karen Read, 41, was indicted on charges of manslaughter. and leaving the scene of a serious motor vehicle accident, in connection with the death of Boston officer John O’Keefeaccording to the Boston Globe newspaper.
Bail was reportedly set at $50,000 for the stock analyst and assistant professor of finance at Bentley University, facing strong emotions in a packed courtroom in Stoughton, Massachusetts.
Read was bar hopping with O’Keefe, 46, on Friday night, leaving him at a house party in Canton, according to a police affidavit.
He allegedly ran over him with his truck, while he was turning on the way outprosecutors said.
In the morning, Read noticed that her vehicle was damaged, as she frantically tried to contact O’Keefe. to find out why he hadn’t come home.
She enlisted two friends to help find out what happened, according to the report.
A friend of Read’s told investigators she “believed Karen was still intoxicated in the morning” and said the suspect “didn’t remember last night,” the article said.
When the suspect and her friends found the 16-year veteran police officer, he was on his back, unconscious and covered in snow near bloodstains and a broken cocktail glass under blizzard conditions that dumped about 30 inches of snow on the area, it says. Article.
Read tried to resuscitate O’Keefe, but he died later that day at a hospital.
She admitted to knocking him down at the scene, telling first responders, “I hit him, I hit him, I hit him, I hit him,” the article said.
A police partner of O’Keefe’s was in court when his alleged killer was prosecuted, the Globe reported.
He refused to give his name to the newspaper, but told them that O’Keefe had been dating Read for years.
“He was the best person on the planet,” he reportedly said.
Boston police officers attended the arraignment in uniform along with dozens of men and women who appeared to be off-duty officers.
Despite not remembering the night before, Read reportedly admitted to running over her boyfriend with her truck.
“The Boston Police Department continues to mourn the tragic loss of our brother, Police Officer John O’Keefe,” Chief Superintendent Gregory Long wrote in a statement Tuesday.
“John was a kind person, devoted to his family, and will be greatly missed by his co-workers and anyone who has had the privilege of knowing him.”
Read’s attorney said his client was shocked and distraught over O’Keefe’s death and said it was an accident.
Defense attorney David Yannetti told the newspaper he thought prosecutors had charged Read because the victim was a politically connected police officer.
“Manslaughter is a tremendous exaggeration in this case,” Yannetti said in court. “I don’t see any criminal intent…this was my client’s boyfriend, someone she had a crush on.”
O’Keefe, a native of Braintree, had taken over to care for his nephews after their parents died, police said in a statement.
“John 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,” the statement said. “When John’s sister passed away and so did her husband shortly thereafter, John was grateful for the opportunity to raise his beloved nephews and build a home and a life around his needs.”