Karen Learn homicide case: Professional-prosecution demonstrators make their stand as deliberations proceed


One thing uncommon occurred exterior the courthouse in the course of the fourth day of jury deliberations within the Karen Learn homicide trial — the defendant’s critics confirmed up and made some noise.

“Karen Read cannot be freed” said one of many indicators held by anti-Learn demonstrators on Friday. “This is about Officer John O’Keefe, not you!” said one other.

They’re distinguishable at a look as a result of none of them put on pink — the colour chosen as a logo of help for Learn since all picketing and speech associated to the case is barred inside 200 ft of the Norfolk Superior Court docket in Dedham the place the trial has performed out since April 29.

Nancy Lane/The Boston Herald

Karen Learn in courtroom. (Nancy Lane/The Boston Herald)

Within the early days of broad however not but fanatical consideration to the case of the Mansfield girl accused of murdering her Boston cop boyfriend, one can be simply as prone to see pro-prosecution attendees on the courtroom. That they had their very own insignia: a yellow “Justice for JJ” pin, “JJ” being a favourite nickname for sufferer John O’Keefe.

However because the trial has gained nationwide visibility, such voices had lengthy since been washed out by the thunderous pink wave.

A jury of six males and 6 girls have since Tuesday thought-about the guilt or innocence of Learn, 44, on the next costs: second-degree homicide, leaving the scene of an accident leading to loss of life, and manslaughter whereas working a motorcar beneath the affect.

This final cost carries two subordinate costs the jury also can think about in the event that they imagine the prosecution did not show its case in the primary cost: involuntary manslaughter and motorcar murder.

Prosecutors say that Learn, drunk and indignant in a crumbling relationship, struck O’Keefe along with her SUV exterior 34 Fairview Street in Canton within the early morning hours of Jan. 29, 2022, leaving him to die within the chilly in a heavy snowstorm. She and two different girl would discover his physique there at round 6 that morning.

Jurors indicated that they have been deadlocked at round noon on Friday. Decide Beverly Cannone, who has to make exact strikes with the jury in conditions like this, advised them to return and proceed to attempt to attain a verdict. Jurors will proceed deliberations on Monday.

Clashing views

For each camps, the rabid Learn supporters who’ve tailgated exterior the buffer zone for a lot of the trial and the hardcore detractors who braved wading by enemy territory on Friday to voice their very own fact, the case just isn’t a fancy situation however a easy one which the opposite facet has needlessly muddled.

Learn’s supporters say that she, a monetary analyst and Bentley College lecturer, was snagged in a plot to border her and that the killing was finished by another person.

Their indicators typically spotlight the proof they are saying factors to such a conspiracy, like “hos long to die in cold,” which is prosecution witness Jennifer McCabe’s Google search that was carried out at a disputed time.

A protection knowledgeable says that search was irrefutably made hours earlier than O’Keefe’s physique was found, pointing towards a conspiracy, whereas prosecution consultants state that it was equally irrefutably made at 6:34 a.m. — which is when McCabe herself says she made the search at Learn’s request after they discovered his physique.

Those that imagine she is responsible say the entire angle was made as much as bury a easy fact: that Learn struck O’Keefe along with her automobile and doesn’t need to take duty for it.

One detractor’s view

John DePetro (Courtesy / John DePetro)

Courtesy / John DePetro

John DePetro (Courtesy / John DePetro)

Rhode Island discuss radio host John DePetro advised the Herald Friday that he was “100%” certain Learn was responsible.

“I couldn’t buy into the concept of the conspiracy,” DePetro advised the Herald. “There’s a lot of noise around it and I wasn’t interested in the pink—” he stated, simply as two Learn supporters stroll by. “You know, that stuff.”

He stated he believes the COVID pandemic could have helped spur the tribalism surrounding the case, wherein folks pressured to be dwelling turned to social media and YouTube to discover a digital group. It created, he stated, “an echo chamber.”

As a substitute, he stated, there may be compelling proof to Learn’s guilt of one thing — if not essentially the homicide cost — and that the story the protection offered had holes in it.

Chief amongst that, to him, is what Learn stated on the police station when she was arrested following indictment in June of 2022.

“Okay you’re aware he was beaten up by Brian and Colin Albert? I mean, we’re all in on the same joke, right?” Learn advised the cops then. However, to DePetro, her leaving out ATF Agent Brian Higgins in that assertion is a pink flag in opposition to the protection principle.

The protection named Higgins, Brian Albert and Colin Albert as doable various killers. In trial, they recommended a spurred romance as a motive for Higgins to kill O’Keefe — essentially the most concrete motive established for any of the three.

DePetro additionally stated the “The defense never got (O’Keefe) in the house,” which is paramount to their principle of a basement beating.

He’s additionally suspicious of Learn’s actions that early morning. If she was so frightened about her boyfriend and whether or not one thing unhealthy had occurred to him, why have been none of her enormous variety of calls to everybody however 911?

DePetro stated that the courtroom dynamics have additionally performed into the drama, particularly in protection legal professional Alan Jackson — likening him to the commanding presence of Johnnie Cochran within the OJ Simpson trial of the Nineties.

“(Prosecutor) Adam Lally has never tangoed with someone like this,” he stated, saying that Lally’s like “a reliable car. … There’s nothing flashy about him. He just churns through the evidence.”

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