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4th juror says jury found Karen Read not guilty of murder in new defense filing

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4th juror says jury found Karen Read not guilty of murder in new defense filing


Another juror in the Karen Read murder case has come forward to say the jury unanimously voted to acquit her of second-degree murder and another charge in the death of her boyfriend, John O’Keefe, before a mistrial was declared last week in the high-profile case. Judge Beverly Cannone declared the mistrial on July 1 after the jury of six women and six men informed her that they were hopelessly deadlocked. Defense Attorney Alan Jackson said a fourth deliberating juror (Juror D) has now confirmed that the jury reached not guilty verdicts on Count 1 and Count 3 — of second-degree murder and leaving the scene of an accident with injury/death.Jackson said the juror contacted him because the person was “uncomfortable” with how the trial ended.“He/she said that the last day of the trail was a ‘whirlwind’ and everything happened fast. He/she recounted that his/her perspective was that the jury was brought in the courtroom, the note was read, the mistrial was declared, and the jury was then rushed out of the courtroom,” Jackson wrote in an affidavit. “He/she described the end of the trial as very confusing.” The jury believed that they were compelled to come to a resolution on all counts before they could or should report verdicts on any of the counts, Jackson wrote.“Juror D reiterated that he/she believes that it would be unjust for Karen Read to be re-tried on either Count 1 (second-degree murder) or Count 3 (leaving the scene with injury/death) because the jury has already unanimously found her not guilty of those charges,” Jackson wrote. On Monday, the defense filed a motion to dismiss the two charges in the case, citing communication from a juror and two people familiar with two other jurors that the jury had agreed unanimously that Read was not guilty of the two charges, and a retrial on such counts would violate double jeopardy protections.The double jeopardy clause provides that no person shall “be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.”The day after the mistrial was declared, the defense started receiving communications from one of the 12 jurors and two people familiar with two other jurors saying the jury had a “firm 12-0 agreement that Ms. Read was not guilty of two of the three charges against her,” the defense wrote in the first motion.As of Monday afternoon, prosecutors remained determined to retry the case. “The Norfolk DA’s Office is examining the motion in anticipation of filing a response. We look forward to picking a new trial date on July 22,” said a spokesperson for the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office.Read supporters protested outside the Norfolk District Attorney’s office Wednesday afternoon, spurred by the news of the fourth juror coming out.”After hearing the news of today about a fourth juror, I truly believe the DA and Judge Cannone need to take a look at what happened at the end of the trial and maybe recall the jurors back and do a little hearing,” said Read supporter Paul Cristoforo said.Jackson cited in his filing a conversation with “Juror A,” who contacted him the day after the trial ended. According to Jackson, that juror said the 12 members “unanimously agreed that Karen Read is not guilty of Count 1 (second-degree murder.)”Jackson said the juror was seeing inaccurate reports about the “split” among jurors related to the mistrial. “Juror A was emphatic that Count 1 (second-degree murder) was ‘off the table’ and that all 12 of the jurors were in agreement that she was not guilty of such crime,” Jackson wrote.The jury also unanimously agreed that Read was not guilty of Count 3 (leaving the scene with injury/death), the juror also allegedly told Jackson.Defense attorney David Yannetti said he was contacted on Tuesday, July 2, by two different people who had received information from two other jurors. One person provided a screenshot of a text message that read, “It was not guilty of second degree. And split in half for the second charge…I thought the prosecution didn’t prove the case. No one thought she hit him on purpose,” according to the motion.Another person shared screenshots of text messages with a coworker who was on the jury that read, “no consideration for murder 2” and “She should’ve been acquitted I agree.”Jackson said the defense was not given the opportunity to request that the court inquire about which count or counts the jury may have been deadlocked after the jurors returned with the note saying they were at an impasse.”Our perspectives on the evidence are starkly divided. Some members of the jury firmly believe the evidence surprises the burden of proof establishing the elements of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Conversely, others find the evidence fails to meet this standard and does not sufficiently establish the necessary elements of the charges,” the note read.Jackson said the court did not question the jury foreperson about which counts the jury was deadlocked.”Had the court so inquired, it appears clear that not guilty verdicts would have been recorded for Count 1 and Count 3. Ms. Read was denied her right to receive those verdicts in her favor,” Jackson wrote. “I think that the judge will have to consider this,” said former Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley. “Obviously, we want defendants always to get a fair trial. But she has a lot of options here. She has to hear from the prosecution. She could have a hearing with the jury. But notice in this motion, there’s no affidavit from the juror. It’s all hearsay and more hearsay. So she has to determine if it even raises a question to do that.”Video below: Former Attorney General looks at Read’s motion to dismissRelated links:Watch full video of closing argumentsRecap of testimony, evidence from each day of the caseEvidence slideshowRead, 44, of Mansfield, is accused of hitting O’Keefe with her black SUV outside of a home at 34 Fairview Road in Canton on Jan. 29, 2022, and leaving him to die in a snowstorm following a night of drinking. Her defense contends O’Keefe, a Boston police officer, was dragged outside after he was beaten up in the basement and bitten by a dog at fellow Boston officer Brian Albert’s home in Canton.Read, a former adjunct professor at Bentley University, pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, along with manslaughter while operating under the influence of alcohol and leaving a scene of personal injury and death. The manslaughter charge carries a penalty of five to 20 years in prison, and the other charge has a maximum penalty of 10 years. Video below: How supporters outside the courthouse reacted to the mistrial

Another juror in the Karen Read murder case has come forward to say the jury unanimously voted to acquit her of second-degree murder and another charge in the death of her boyfriend, John O’Keefe, before a mistrial was declared last week in the high-profile case.

Judge Beverly Cannone declared the mistrial on July 1 after the jury of six women and six men informed her that they were hopelessly deadlocked.

Defense Attorney Alan Jackson said a fourth deliberating juror (Juror D) has now confirmed that the jury reached not guilty verdicts on Count 1 and Count 3 — of second-degree murder and leaving the scene of an accident with injury/death.

Jackson said the juror contacted him because the person was “uncomfortable” with how the trial ended.

“He/she said that the last day of the trail was a ‘whirlwind’ and everything happened fast. He/she recounted that his/her perspective was that the jury was brought in the courtroom, the note was read, the mistrial was declared, and the jury was then rushed out of the courtroom,” Jackson wrote in an affidavit. “He/she described the end of the trial as very confusing.”

The jury believed that they were compelled to come to a resolution on all counts before they could or should report verdicts on any of the counts, Jackson wrote.

“Juror D reiterated that he/she believes that it would be unjust for Karen Read to be re-tried on either Count 1 (second-degree murder) or Count 3 (leaving the scene with injury/death) because the jury has already unanimously found her not guilty of those charges,” Jackson wrote.

On Monday, the defense filed a motion to dismiss the two charges in the case, citing communication from a juror and two people familiar with two other jurors that the jury had agreed unanimously that Read was not guilty of the two charges, and a retrial on such counts would violate double jeopardy protections.

The double jeopardy clause provides that no person shall “be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.”

The day after the mistrial was declared, the defense started receiving communications from one of the 12 jurors and two people familiar with two other jurors saying the jury had a “firm 12-0 agreement that Ms. Read was not guilty of two of the three charges against her,” the defense wrote in the first motion.

As of Monday afternoon, prosecutors remained determined to retry the case.

“The Norfolk DA’s Office is examining the motion in anticipation of filing a response. We look forward to picking a new trial date on July 22,” said a spokesperson for the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office.

Read supporters protested outside the Norfolk District Attorney’s office Wednesday afternoon, spurred by the news of the fourth juror coming out.

“After hearing the news of today about a fourth juror, I truly believe the DA and Judge Cannone need to take a look at what happened at the end of the trial and maybe recall the jurors back and do a little hearing,” said Read supporter Paul Cristoforo said.

Jackson cited in his filing a conversation with “Juror A,” who contacted him the day after the trial ended. According to Jackson, that juror said the 12 members “unanimously agreed that Karen Read is not guilty of Count 1 (second-degree murder.)”

Jackson said the juror was seeing inaccurate reports about the “split” among jurors related to the mistrial.

“Juror A was emphatic that Count 1 (second-degree murder) was ‘off the table’ and that all 12 of the jurors were in agreement that she was not guilty of such crime,” Jackson wrote.

The jury also unanimously agreed that Read was not guilty of Count 3 (leaving the scene with injury/death), the juror also allegedly told Jackson.

Defense attorney David Yannetti said he was contacted on Tuesday, July 2, by two different people who had received information from two other jurors. One person provided a screenshot of a text message that read, “It was not guilty of second degree. And split in half for the second charge…I thought the prosecution didn’t prove the case. No one thought she hit him on purpose,” according to the motion.

Another person shared screenshots of text messages with a coworker who was on the jury that read, “no consideration for murder 2” and “She should’ve been acquitted I agree.”

Jackson said the defense was not given the opportunity to request that the court inquire about which count or counts the jury may have been deadlocked after the jurors returned with the note saying they were at an impasse.

“Our perspectives on the evidence are starkly divided. Some members of the jury firmly believe the evidence surprises the burden of proof establishing the elements of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Conversely, others find the evidence fails to meet this standard and does not sufficiently establish the necessary elements of the charges,” the note read.

Jackson said the court did not question the jury foreperson about which counts the jury was deadlocked.

“Had the court so inquired, it appears clear that not guilty verdicts would have been recorded for Count 1 and Count 3. Ms. Read was denied her right to receive those verdicts in her favor,” Jackson wrote.

“I think that the judge will have to consider this,” said former Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley. “Obviously, we want defendants always to get a fair trial. But she has a lot of options here. She has to hear from the prosecution. She could have a hearing with the jury. But notice in this motion, there’s no affidavit from the juror. It’s all hearsay and more hearsay. So she has to determine if it even raises a question to do that.”

Video below: Former Attorney General looks at Read’s motion to dismiss

Related links:

Read, 44, of Mansfield, is accused of hitting O’Keefe with her black SUV outside of a home at 34 Fairview Road in Canton on Jan. 29, 2022, and leaving him to die in a snowstorm following a night of drinking. Her defense contends O’Keefe, a Boston police officer, was dragged outside after he was beaten up in the basement and bitten by a dog at fellow Boston officer Brian Albert’s home in Canton.

Read, a former adjunct professor at Bentley University, pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, along with manslaughter while operating under the influence of alcohol and leaving a scene of personal injury and death. The manslaughter charge carries a penalty of five to 20 years in prison, and the other charge has a maximum penalty of 10 years.

Video below: How supporters outside the courthouse reacted to the mistrial



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