Mistrial Declared in Karen Read Case After Jury Can't Reach a Verdict in Murder Trial

Karen Read was on trial in connection with her boyfriend John O'Keefe's mysterious death in January 2022

<p>John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty</p> Karen Read

John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty

Karen Read

The jury was unable to come to a unanimous decision on whether Karen Read — the woman accused of drunkenly running over her boyfriend John O’Keefe in 2022 — is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. On July 1, the judge overseeing the case declared a mistrial, according to Boston.com, NBC Boston and MassLive.com.

The judge scheduled a hearing for July 22 to determine next steps.

Read, 44, was charged with second-degree murder in connection with O’Keefe’s death. O’Keefe, who was 46 when he died, was a beloved Boston police officer who planned to go over to fellow police officer Brian Albert’s home for an after-bars gathering in late January 2022, Boston reported. The trial, which began in mid-April, has since sparked an intense media storm.

On June 28, shortly after noon, the jury told the judge that it was deadlocked. Judge Beverly Cannone sent jurors back to keep deliberating after lunch. The following Monday, on July 1, they were still unable to reach a decision.

Prosecutors alleged that Read was driving drunk and backed over O’Keefe after dropping him off at Albert’s home, while Read’s defense team has argued instead that O’Keefe was beat up while inside Albert’s home, then attacked by a dog, and then thrown in the snow and left for dead.

O'Keefe, who was found with multiple injuries and blood around his nose and mouth, was transported to the hospital and pronounced dead later that morning.

Related: Inside the Trial of Karen Read, Mass. Woman Accused of Fatally Running Over Police Officer Boyfriend

In closing arguments on June 25, Read's defense attorney Alan Jackson told the jury, "You have been lied to," according to WCVB, claiming that evidence presented by the prosecution had been manipulated during the investigation. He also called the case a "cover-up" designed to protect law enforcement officers.

Prosecutor Adam Lally pushed back against any notion of a "conspiracy" during his closing arguments.

“The defendant repeatedly said ‘I hit him. I hit him. Oh my God. I hit him,’” Lally said, in reference to statements Read allegedly made after O'Keefe was found, per WHDH. “Those were the words that came from the defendant’s mouth.”

Prosecutors had previously pointed to O’Keefe’s DNA evidence having been found on the back taillight of Read’s car. Boston also reported that Read’s friend Kerry Roberts, who helped Read search for O’Keefe the next morning, had said Read still seemed drunk when they were searching for her boyfriend. Roberts also alleged that Read told her, “I hit him,” according to the documents cited by Boston.

Meanwhile, Read’s defense attorney David Yanetti claimed that evidence shows someone inside Albert’s home the night O’Keefe died had made an online search for “Ho[w] long to die in cold,” according to a news release previously cited by PEOPLE.

"This evidence unequivocally exonerates Karen, because it establishes that individuals who were in the house… that night were aware that John was dying in the snow before Karen even knew he was missing," the press release said.

In court documents previously obtained by PEOPLE, Read’s defense team also claimed that "photographs of O'Keefe suggest that he was beaten severely and left for dead, having sustained blunt force injuries to both sides of his face as well as to the back of his head."

Related: Karen Read Murder Trial Is ‘a Circus,’ Says Friend Who Slams Claim She Killed Police Trooper Boyfriend (Exclusive)

O’Keefe suffered skull fractures and brain bleeding and had black eyes, multiple abrasions and the autopsy confirmed hypothermia contributed to his death, CNN reported.

The theory Read’s defense team’s presented in court gained traction online, leading to dozens of protestors appearing outside the Norfolk Superior Court during Read’s trial in support of the accused murderer.

Read’s trial began on April 16 when a judge denied her defense team’s motion to dismiss her murder charge.

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