Karen Read murder trial: Defense rests after 3 witnesses said science does not show vehicle strike

The Karen Read murder trial defense team has rested their case after a day of three witnesses who said that the basic science of victim John O’Keefe’s injuries and the damage to Read’s SUV were inconsistent with a pedestrian strike, regardless of other evidence.

First up was a medical examiner who maintained that a vehicle strike of any circumstance would carry significant bruising, which O’Keefe’s body did not show.

“If a vehicle hits you … and it’s going any speed at all, any significant speed, it’s going to cause bruising … and one of the things that struck me is a distinct lack of bruising,” Dr. Frank Sheridan testified on Monday. He added that he also didn’t see any injuries to O’Keefe’s legs, another common sign in pedestrian-vehicle strikes. “The absence of these, I believe, is important.”

The Dublin, Ireland-born physician served as the chief medical examiner for San Bernardino County in California from 1991 through 2017. During his career, he estimated, he has performed between 12,000 and 13,000 autopsies in his career as a forensic pathologist.

Next came forensic crash reconstructionists from the Pennsylvania-based consulting firm ARCCA. They also said that neither O’Keefe’s injuries nor damage to Read’s vehicle indicated a vehicle strike.

Read, 44, faces charges of second-degree murder, motor vehicle manslaughter and leaving the scene of a collision causing the death of John O’Keefe, her boyfriend and a 16-year Boston Police officer when he died at age 46 in the early morning hours of Jan. 29, 2022.

Prosecutors have argued that taillight pieces found at the snowy scene of O’Keefe’s death on the front lawn of 34 Fairview Road in Canton, heavy drinking the evening before, and a demonstrated history of jealousy and unrest in the relationship between Read and O’Keefe points to her guilt. Prosecutor Adam Lally argues the Mansfield financial analyst and Bentley University lecturer purposely struck him with her car as she dropped him off at that house sometime after midnight.

Moving forward

“Jurors, that is the evidence in this case after all these weeks,” Judge Beverly Cannone said at the end of the trial day. “The lawyers and I still have work to do for tomorrow. But tomorrow morning, we’ll have closing arguments from counsel. They’ll have an hour apiece to argue their case to you. I’ll instruct you in the law and then 12 of you will begin your deliberations sometime tomorrow.”

This is a developing story.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous post ‘Everything is at stake’ for reproductive rights in 2024, Harris says as Biden-Trump debate nears
Next post Biden announces hundreds of debate watch parties while Trump hits the trail