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Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should in the Karen Read trial.



The trial of accused murderer Karen Read is well under way and this week, we only have one day of testimony. No court yesterday because of the Memorial Day holiday and three scheduled days off on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mean today was the only working day of the week and the Commonwealth chose to highlight the day by bringing two minor children to the stand.

The nephew and niece of murdered Boston Police Officer John O’Keefe were witnesses #45 and #46, respectively, today. The Commonwealth is under no obligation to call them to the stand and they are not listed as potential witnesses by the defense.

The two children are the children of John O’Keefe’s sister and brother in law, both of who passed away. John O’Keefe stepped up to raise the children after their death, despite not being married and having no other children of his own. The murder of John O’Keefe left the children without their uncle and perhaps more importantly, their caregiver and father figure. The children are now being raised by O’Keefe’s parents.

Undoubtedly, the children have been though so much. When I was told this morning that the children might be called today, as a mother, I really couldn’t believe it. The courtroom in itself, with the jurors just a few feet away, is intimidating for adults, let alone children. But they were also in close proximity to Karen Read herself, the person that is charged with the murder of their uncle. It seemed exceptionally cruel, even if they themselves don’t believe that Karen did it, to have them face to face with her. Furthermore, they had to identify her in the courtroom where it was noted for the court that the woman dressed in blue was indeed Karen Read.

I gave the Commonwealth the benefit of the doubt and assumed that the testimony they were going to provoke today was of high value. I thought that to put them up there, there must be some sort of information about Karen or her relationship with John that would really compel a reaction from the jurors. But there was nothing that stood out from the questioning that wasn’t heard before. We heard about the morning that John died at his home, we heard about the Florida vacation. We heard the same testimony but only this time, from the mouths of two traumatized children. From my perspective, there was not one moment that presented itself as a win for the Commonwealth.

On the contrary, it was the questioning from the defense, or lack there of that was most impactful. Defense Attorney David Yannetti chose to ask just a few questions of each child. After establishing that they each knew what it meant to “raise a hand in anger” he asked each of them if they had ever seen John do so towards Karen, to which they each responded no. He then asked if they had ever seen Karen do so towards John and they again, responded no.

Ending his line of questioning towards John O’Keefe’s nephew, Yannetti said:

“I am so sorry you were asked to be here.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Primary correspondent for the Greater Fall River area, Jess focuses on human interest stories and investigations into political corruption. She is a former fill-in host and digital contributor at The Howie Carr Show, former host of The Jessica Machado Show and SouthCoast Tonight on WBSM in New Bedford, former blogger at The Herald News and a former fill-in host at WSAR in Fall River.



  1. Diana

    May 28, 2024 at 10:00 pm

    Thankful your boss allows you to cover this case. You do phenomenal work, I enjoy it the most and it seems to be level headed, unbiased, and detailed Lways. It’s crazy how MSM is presenting thus still. Like what is going on. These kids have been through hell. It’s a travestyp

  2. Vixy

    May 28, 2024 at 11:25 pm

    Have you considered that testifying could actually be therapeutic for them? If they feel she did do it then having the opportunity to be heard is important for victims of all ages. They are victims in this situation. They have lost so many people and this was the one person they lost they could stand up and speak for. Usually minors are given a choice and working closely with child victims many of them want so desperately to have a voice that they INSIST on being heard. The grandparents also would have been given a choice to allow them or not. Hearing karen on the phone and her story change multiple times is actually incredibly relevant. How about you step off your pedestal long enough to consider the alternative. What if they weren’t allowed to testify, she gets acquitted and actually did it (I’m not truly convinced of that piece but I’m trying to look at all sides) then they live the rest of their lives wondering if what they had to say could have made a difference. If you, as a mother, really believe sheltering your children from someone who caused them pain is the best course I respect that. As a mother I would always want my child to confront people they believe are hurting them or someone they love.

  3. Gary Dunn

    May 29, 2024 at 8:55 am

    I agree 💯 keep up the good work poor kids

  4. Cheryl Breen

    May 29, 2024 at 10:01 pm

    Thank you Jess once again great work!

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