Doctor Reveals Shocking Injuries Sustained by Karen Read’s Boyfriend

David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

After he was found unconscious on a snow-covered front lawn in late January 2022, Boston police officer John O’Keefe arrived at a local hospital intubated, hypothermic, and in cardiac arrest, an ER doctor who treated him testified on Tuesday.

But while O’Keefe had a shockingly low internal temperature of 80 degrees, abrasions on his right arm, a head trauma, and his heart was not pumping on its own, Dr. Justin Rice said that the 59-year-old officer did not have any injuries to a majority of his body.

“From the neck down he did not have a single broken bone, right? You certainly didn't notate in your report that he had any broken bones, correct?” defense attorney Elizabeth Little asked Rice on the third week of Karen Read’s murder trial.

“No, I did not,” Rice replied.

The fact that O’Keefe did not have any broken bones calls into question the prosecution’s case against Read.

Prosecutors allege that Read, 44, drunkenly hit and killed her boyfriend, O’Keefe, with her SUV after dropping him off at a fellow cop friend’s house after midnight during a blizzard. Nicholas Roberts, a field service engineer for a biotech firm who testified to Read’s blood sample, said her last drink was 12:45 a.m.

Read was among a group who found O’Keefe hours later and she allegedly screamed to authorities that O’Keefe’s predicament was her fault.

Defense attorneys, however, insist that Read is being “framed” in an elaborate police cover-up. They argue that Read dropped him off, and that O’Keefe’s injuries are consistent with then being fatally beaten, attacked by a dog, and left outside. Read has pleaded not guilty to several charges, including second-degree murder, and faces a life sentence.

On Tuesday, Rice walked jurors through O’Keefe’s ailments after O’Keefe was brought to Good Samaritan Hospital around 6:47 a.m. Despite his life saving efforts, Rice pronounced O’Keefe dead at 7:50 a.m. after he had complications with his cardiac arrest, head trauma and “exposure to the cold.”

“Eighty degrees is very cold,” Rice said.

The doctor was also questioned about the EMS report he was given while intaking O’Keefe—which he said included a note that “said something to the effect of ‘Per EMS report, the patient may have been struck by a vehicle.’” Little showed Rice the report, however, and he admitted it did not have any reference to O’Keefe possibly being hit by a car.

“In fact, there is no mention of a vehicle whatsoever, correct?” the defense attorney asked.

“That’s correct,” Rice responded.

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