Karen Read’s lawyers say another juror upheld ‘not guilty’ vote
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Karen Read’s lawyers say another juror upheld ‘not guilty’ vote

Karen Read’s lawyers say another juror upheld ‘not guilty’ vote
Karen Read looked at her supporters as her father, William, gave a thumbs-up as they reacted to the news that a mistrial had been declared in her trial in Norfolk Superior Court. Jessica Rinaldi/Boston Globe

Karen Read’s attorneys say a fourth juror has come forward to confirm that the apparently deadlocked jury internally agreed to acquit Read of second-degree murder and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

Read’s murder trial ended in a mistrial last week after jurors declared themselves deadlocked and “deeply divided” after days of deliberations. The defense filed a motion Monday asking Judge Beverly Cannone to dismiss two of the three charges against Read, citing unsolicited information from three of the 12 deliberating jurors.

Read, 44, is charged with second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter while operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of a fatal accident. Prosecutors say she was driving while intoxicated and intentionally backed her SUV into her boyfriend, Boston Police Officer John O’Keefe, outside a Canton home on Jan. 29, 2022. However, Read’s attorneys maintain she was framed in a vast conspiracy designed to protect the family who owned the home where O’Keefe was found unconscious in the snow.

In their motion Monday, defense attorneys said they had received information from three jurors — identified in court documents as “Juror A,” “Juror B” and “Juror C” — “indicating unequivocally that the jury strongly agreed 12-0 that Ms. Read was not guilty of two of the three charges against her.”

In a supplemental affidavit filed Wednesday, defense attorney Alan Jackson said he later heard a similar account from a fourth juror, identified as “Juror D.”

The juror, who contacted Jackson on Monday, reportedly said he was “uncomfortable” with how the trial ended, describing the final day of deliberations as a “whirlwind” and noting that he found the conclusion “very confusing.”

According to Jackson’s affidavit, Juror D said the jury unanimously agreed that Read was “not guilty” of murder and leaving the scene of a fatal accident, only ruling on the OUI manslaughter charge and its lesser included offenses.

“Juror D stated that the jury had actually discussed telling the judge that they had unanimously agreed on the NOT GUILTY verdicts on Counts 1 and 3, but they were not sure whether they were allowed to say so,” Jackson wrote.

According to Jackson, Juror D also reported that after the jury was excused, “many jurors seemed uncomfortable with the way things ended, wondering, Will anyone know that we acquitted (Karen Read) on counts 1 and 3? No one ever asked about those counts.(Note: Italics are Jackson’s.)

Juror D reportedly said he felt “very uncomfortable” with the outcome of the trial, adding: “It didn’t feel fair.”

“I asked if, in his opinion, other jurors would agree and acknowledge that verdicts of NOT GUILTY had been returned on Counts 1 and 3,” Jackson wrote. “Juror D, without hesitation, stated in substance: All of us will agree and acknowledge that we found (Karen Read) NOT GUILTY on counts 1 and 3. Because that is what happened..”

In a supplemental motion filed Wednesday, Read’s attorneys reiterated their belief that a retrial was unnecessary on two of the three counts because the jury reached a unanimous conclusion. A new trial on those counts would violate double jeopardy laws, the defense argues.

Prosecutors have said they intend to retry Read’s case, and Cannone has set a hearing for July 22 to determine next steps. In a statement Monday, a spokesperson for the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office said the district attorney’s office is reviewing the defense motion “in anticipation of filing a response” and looks forward to setting a new trial date of July 22.

Prosecutors had not yet filed their response as of 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.