Michael Proctor: Massachusetts State Police Lead Investigator Relieved of Duty after Karen Read Mistrial

Proctor faced criticism for a series of text messages about Read that were read aloud in court. On the witness stand, he admitted that these messages were "unprofessional."

The main investigator from the Massachusetts State Police in the Karen Read murder trial has been relieved from duty, officials announced on Monday, just hours after she was released because the jury couldn't reach a decision. Trooper Michael Proctor was relieved after a mistrial in which Read was charged with murdering her Boston police officer boyfriend.

Proctor will be reassigned from the Attorney General's Office detective unit on Sunday, July 7, following the state police collective bargaining agreement, which mandates a five-day notice for new job assignments. However, the state police said the decision to relieve Proctor is independent of the ongoing internal investigation and not related to this case.

Strange Coincidence

Michael Proctor
Michael Proctor X

Proctor has been put on leave, meaning he remains on the payroll but is not permitted to perform any duties as a state trooper.

"Upon learning today's result, the Department took immediate action to relieve Trooper Michael Proctor of duty and formally transfer him out of the Norfolk County District Attorney's Office State Police Detective's Unit," a statement from State Police Colonel John Mawn read in part, on Monday.

Proctor faced criticism for a series of text messages about Read that were read aloud in court. On the witness stand, he admitted that these messages were "unprofessional."

In his personal texts, he referred to Read as a "wack job," a "babe... with no a--," and a "c---." He also expressed a wish that she would kill herself and joked about searching for nude photos on her phone.

Many legal experts believe that Proctor's testimony damaged the prosecution's case.

The Massachusetts jury was deadlocked for days and, after nearly 26 hours of deliberations, could not reach a unanimous verdict on Read's innocence or guilt.

Freed Because of Mistrial

Michael Proctor
Michael Proctor X

Read, 44, was accused of murdering her boyfriend, John O'Keefe. After leaving court, she stood beside her lawyers, who argued that the prosecutors had depended on a compromised investigator.

"We will not stop fighting," Read's lawyer, Alan Jackson said.

"The Commonwealth intends to re-try the case," the Norfolk County District Attorney's Office said within minutes of the outcome.

In January 2022, John O'Keefe's body was discovered buried in several inches of snow outside the residence of Boston police officer Brian Albert.

According to prosecutors, Read deliberately struck him with her SUV during an alcohol-fueled argument and left him to die on the front lawn of a Canton, Massachusetts home amid a severe winter storm.

Read, however, has claimed that she was set up in a sophisticated cover-up meant to shield the Albert family, who have extensive connections in law enforcement.

She entered a plea of innocence against accusations of second-degree murder, motor vehicle manslaughter while intoxicated, and fleeing the scene of a collision resulting in injury and death.

Throughout the trial, jurors listened to testimony from numerous witnesses and were presented with 700 pieces of evidence.