Girlfriend Of Boston Officer Pleads Not Guilty To Murder

DEDHAM, Mass. (AP) — The girlfriend of a Boston police officer who died during a winter storm in January after authorities say she struck him with her vehicle pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder at her Superior Court arraignment on Friday.

Karen Read, 42, of Mansfield, had originally been arraigned in district court on manslaughter and other charges, but a Norfolk County grand jury this week indicted her on the more serious charge.

She is also charged with motor vehicle manslaughter and leaving the scene of a collision causing death.

A judge set bail at $100,000. Prosecutors had sought $500,000 bail. She was also ordered not to drive and have no contact with her boyfriend's family.

Her boyfriend, 16-year veteran John O’Keefe, 46, was found unresponsive outside a Canton home at about 6 a.m. on Jan. 29 during a major snowstorm. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. He died of head injuries and hypothermia, authorities said.

The couple had gone to two bars the night of Jan. 28 and were heading to an after-hours party at the home, but Read did not feel well and decided not to attend, authorities have said. The prosecutor said in court she had consumed nine drinks.

O’Keefe got out of the vehicle, and Read, while making a three-point turn, struck him, then drove away, prosecutors alleged.

Read returned to the home with friends hours later when she could not make contact with O'Keefe and found him outside in the snow, authorities said.

In text messages between the couple, O'Keefe had expressed a “desire to end the relationship," the prosecutor said.

Read’s lawyer expressed concerns about the police investigation in the case.

“She knows that she’s innocent, and we are ready to fight this case,” attorney David Yannetti said outside of court.