October 1, 2023


Accused of killing boyfriend John O’Keefe, Karen Learn opened up about their relationship and shared her model of occasions from the evening he died.

Karen Learn, a Mansfield girl charged within the dying of her boyfriend, John O’Keefe, spoke to “Nightline” for a section aired this week. John Tlumacki/Globe Employees

Karen Learn proclaimed her innocence to a nationwide viewers Monday evening, opening as much as ABC’s “Nightline” about her relationship with Boston police officer John O’Keefe and sharing her model of occasions from the evening he died.

Learn is accused of backing her automobile into O’Keefe and leaving him to die within the snow exterior a fellow Boston police officer’s Canton dwelling in January 2022.

However the Mansfield girl has steadfastly denied the allegations, pleading not responsible to fees of second-degree homicide, motorcar manslaughter whereas driving beneath the affect, and leaving the scene of a collision inflicting damage and dying.

“I didn’t kill John O’Keefe,” she advised ABC Information’ Matt Gutman within the “Nightline” clip. “I’ve by no means harmed a hair on John O’Keefe’s head.”

She described O’Keefe as “the patron saint of Canton,” including, “He was simply very selfless, frugal, and I feel you’d be hard-pressed to search out anybody that didn’t take care of John.”

Right here’s what we realized from Learn’s “Nightline” interview:

Learn and O’Keefe had a strained relationship at occasions

The couple first dated of their 20s earlier than reconnecting throughout the pandemic, Gutman reported.

“He had reached out to me on Fb and he stated, ‘Hey, blast from the previous. How’s issues?’” Learn recalled. “And after I noticed his image, his profile image was with a number of younger youngsters, after which it triggered my reminiscence that his sister and his sister’s husband had handed away. And he advised me, ‘Yeah, I’ve the youngsters now.’ I admired that; I assumed that was wonderful.”

Boston Police Officer John O’Keefe. – Boston Police Division by way of AP

However their roughly two-year relationship was fraught at occasions; Learn advised Gutman that O’Keefe had been counting on her extra to care for the youngsters, and that he criticized a few of the childcare selections she’d made.

“We had had an argument on New 12 months’s Eve,” Learn stated in Monday’s interview, recalling an incident the place O’Keefe grew to become “incoherently drunk” and left her together with his niece and nephew. 

“I felt very a lot taken benefit of,” she stated. “He apologized profusely for what occurred on New 12 months’s Eve, and he stated, ‘In case you can’t recover from it, then it’s worthwhile to spend a while at your home. I can’t maintain apologizing; I don’t need to maintain rehashing this.’”

Based on a previous court docket doc shared by Boston 25 Information, O’Keefe’s niece and nephew advised investigators that the couple argued usually, and that O’Keefe had expressed a want to take a break from the connection. Learn, in the meantime, allegedly advised authorities that she and O’Keefe argued the morning earlier than he died over what she fed his niece for breakfast.

What occurred when Learn dropped O’Keefe off?

O’Keefe and Learn joined some pals on the Waterfall Bar & Grille in Canton on Jan. 28 and have been later invited again to the house of Brian Albert, a fellow Boston officer whom Learn stated O’Keefe admired.

“Each occasions I met Brian Albert, he appeared like the kind of particular person that you just’d be stunned he’s out socially, as a result of he doesn’t seem to be he ever needs to be there,” she stated.

The couple drove to Albert’s dwelling; from there, accounts differ.

Prosecutors allege that Learn dropped O’Keefe off, made a three-point flip, rammed into her boyfriend, and drove away. 

Her legal professionals argue that Learn was framed, suggesting that O’Keefe was severely crushed, attacked by Albert’s canine, and left exterior. Nonetheless, prosecutors have repeatedly rejected the protection group’s claims of a conspiracy and cover-up, accusing Learn’s attorneys of creating out-of-court statements that amounted to “unsubstantiated proclamations, supported solely by self-serving hypothesis and conjecture.” 

Learn supplied her personal model of occasions Monday, telling “Nightline” that she was uncertain whether or not the afterparty invitation prolonged to her and wished O’Keefe to double verify.

“I pull on the foot of the driveway. It’s snowing. John has no coat on. It’s windy,” she recalled. “So I drop him off, he goes up the driveway, and approaches the facet door. And as I see him method the door, I look down at my telephone.”

Learn advised “Nightline” that after about 10 minutes of ready in her automobile, she grew to become irritated that O’Keefe hadn’t gotten in contact. She stated she drove again to his dwelling, noticing when she awoke earlier than 5 a.m. that he nonetheless hadn’t returned.

She started looking for O’Keefe, enlisting assist from two different ladies: Kerry Roberts, O’Keefe’s good friend, and Jennifer McCabe, Albert’s sister-in-law and a fellow afterparty visitor. 

The three ladies headed to Albert’s dwelling, the place they discovered O’Keefe mendacity within the snow. He was pronounced useless quickly afterward at Good Samaritan Hospital in Brockton.

Karen Read, center, in a gray suit, stands on the steps of the courthouse, flanked by two of her lawyers. They are surrounded by members of the media holding cameras and microphones.
Karen Learn, a Mansfield girl charged with murdering her Boston police officer boyfriend, John O’Keefe, appeared in Norfolk County Superior Courtroom for a pretrial listening to on Could 3, 2023. – John Tlumacki/Globe Employees, File

Did Learn say ‘I hit him’?

A forensic specialist who examined Learn’s SUV discovered “a dent with chipped paint within the trunk door, a damaged tail gentle, and scratches on the bumper,” in addition to human hair on the “rear passenger facet quarter panel,” prosecutors wrote in a Could movement.

“I had advised each Jen and Kerry that I cracked my tail gentle,” Learn stated in Monday’s interview. “I stated, ‘I simply hit my automobile, on high of every thing. However I didn’t take a look at the injury.’ And each ladies stated, ‘It’s cracked. It’s cracked. Settle down, you cracked your tail gentle. You’re OK, let’s go search for John.’”

McCabe allegedly advised investigators that Learn said, “Might I’ve hit him?” and “Did I hit him?” Prosecutors additionally stated a primary responder on the scene reported listening to Learn say, “I hit him, I hit him, I hit him.”

“I stated ‘I hit him.’ It was preceded by a ‘did’ and proceeded by a query mark,” Learn advised “Nightline.” “What I assumed may have occurred was that, ‘Did I incapacitate him unwittingly, someway, after which in his drunkenness, [he] handed out?’”

Gutman requested her if it was doable that she hit O’Keefe unintentionally.

“No,” she replied. “Not doable.”

Learn is due again in court docket on Sept. 15.

Watch the “Nightline” clip under: