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DEDHAM, MASS. (WHDH) - Judge Beverly Cannone declared a mistrial Monday after jurors failed to reach a verdict in the two-month murder trial of Karen Read. 

Cannone announced the decision near 2:30 p.m., shortly after a lunch break on the fifth day of deliberations.

In a note to Cannone, the jury said they were split, with some jurors believing the evidence meets the prosecution’s burden of proof. Other jurors felt the evidence failed to meet the burden of proof.

“To continue to deliberate would be futile,” the jury said.

“Your service is complete,” Cannone soon told the jurors. “I’m declaring a mistrial in this case.”

Members of O’Keefe’s family were visibly emotional inside the courtroom after Cannone’s announcement. O’Keefe’s family later left the courtroom without speaking to reporters.

Read hugged her father before her lawyers and Cannone discussed scheduling a court date to consider next steps in the case.

Later speaking outside the courthouse, defense attorney Alan Jackson shared his reaction.

“The Commonwealth did their worst,” he said. “They brought the weight of the state based on spurious charges, based on compromised investigations and investigators, and compromised witnesses.”

“They failed,” he continued. “They failed miserably and they will continue to fail.”

Read was charged with three charges including second degree murder in connection with the 2022 death of her boyfriend, Boston police officer John O’Keefe. 

Her trial, the police investigation that led to it, and allegations of a law enforcement cover-up attracted widespread attention and at times prompted criticism of the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office. 

While Read and her team exited the courthouse, the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office in a statement thanked the O’Keefe family “for their commitment and dedication to this long process.”

“They maintained the sight of the true core of this case – to find justice for John O’Keefe,” the DA’s office said.

The DA’s office continued, saying it intends to re-try the case.

Case dates back to 2022

O’Keefe died on Jan. 29 after he was found unresponsive in a snowbank outside the home of Brian and Nicole Albert on Fairview Road in Canton. Police arrested Read three days later, on Feb. 1, and she was arraigned on initial charges on Feb. 2.

The prosecution laid out part of its case during Read’s arraignment, saying Read hit O’Keefe while dropping him off at the Alberts’ home after a night of drinking with friends. 

Read pleaded not guilty and her defense team soon claimed investigators were involved in a cover-up, saying O’Keefe actually died after a fight inside the house. 

The allegations grew into a firestorm of controversy, with Read supporters gathering before and after many of her pre-trial hearings. 

Read broke her silence on the case in May 2023, proclaiming her innocence on the steps of Norfolk Superior Court. 

“I tried to save his life,” she told reporters. 

In August of last year, while the case continued to attract attention, Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey released a statement condemning what he said was the harassment of witnesses. 

“To have them accused of murder is outrageous,” Morrissey said. “To have them harassed and intimidated based on false narratives and accusations is wrong. They are witnesses doing what our justice systems asks of them.”

Read’s defense team sought to implicate several people in the beating that they said killed O’Keefe. 

The defense theory then became the subject of discussion between members of the general public.

“We try people in the court and not on the internet for a reason,” Morrissey said. “The internet has no rules of evidence. The internet has no punishment for perjury and the internet does not know all the facts.”

Morrissey did not mention him by name. But when he released his video, Aidan Kearney had already written extensively about the Read case on his popular blog, Turtleboy.

In October, police arrested Kearney on multiple witness intimidation charges linked to the Read case. 

During his arraignment, a special prosecutor said Kearney “had adopted the defense’s claims.”

Kearney’s lawyer argued he was using his first amendment rights. Though Kearney was initially released, a judge ordered he be held without bail in connection with new accusations of assault and battery in December. 

Kearney was later released again and was in the courtroom as a member of the press for much of Read’s trial.

For all its pre-trial twists and turns, lawyers finally gathered in Dedham for jury selection in the Read case in late April. Both sides delivered opening statements on April 29, kicking off a marathon of testimony that included its fair share of eye-opening moments.

The case went to the jury on Tuesday of last week.

Hailed by Cannone as a “remarkable” group, jurors first told the judge they had not reached a verdict in a note on Friday.

After Cannone told them to continue deliberating, jurors again said they could not reach a verdict in a new note on Monday morning.

Cannone delivered a new set of last ditch instructions to the jury and again sent them to continue deliberating.

The jury sent their final note just over three hours later.

Questions linger after verdict

After Cannone’s mistrial declaration, many questions linger.

Though the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office said it will re-try Read, it was not immediately clear if she would face the same charges she faced in her first trial.

State Police Trooper Michael Proctor, who served as the lead investigator into O’Keefe’s death, also remains the subject of controversy, particularly after key testimony revealed graphic texts he sent about Read. 

Proctor said his texts were “juvenile and regrettable” but stood by the integrity of his investigation. 

Later asked about the testimony, Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey shared her thoughts, saying “It’s terrible.” 

“It’s completely unprofessional,” she said, as reported by the State House News Service. “It does harm, frankly, to the dignity and the integrity of the work of men and women across the State Police and law enforcement.” 

“…[A]s a former attorney general and as governor,” Healey continued. “I am disgusted by that.”

Read due back in court

Despite steady rain, Read smiled as Jackson, her attorney, denounced the prosecution’s case Monday afternoon.

After nearly daily appearances over recent weeks, Read will have a few weeks away from the courtroom.

She will appear before Cannone again on July 22, though, as all sides in the case eye the road ahead.

This is a developing story; stay with 7NEWS on-air and online for the latest updates.

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