Ferreira Arraigned On First-Degree Murder Charges In McCabe Death
Ordered held without bail pending Aug. 26 court appearance.
Michael Ferreira, 57, of Salem, NH, the youngest of the three men charged in connection with the 1969 murder of Johnny McCabe, was arraigned Friday in Lowell District Court on one count of first degree murder.
According to a spokesperson for Middlesex County District Attorney Gerald Leone, Judge Thomas Brennan ordered the defendant held without bail.
Ferriera, who was 15 at the time of the killing, was previously charged with murder in Juvenile Court, but was moved to District Court last week following a judge’s ruling. Ferreira had also been indicted on May 26 on one count of perjury for allegedly lying to the Grand Jury in 2008 regarding McCabe's death. He had been being held on $500,000 cash bail in that case.
An arraignment date in Lowell Superior Court on the perjury charge has not yet been set. His next court date in Lowell District Court on the murder charge is Aug. 26 for a status hearing. It is expected that the murder case will be shifted to Superior Court at that time.
Two other men have been charged in connection with the murder of McCabe, a 15-year-old Tewksbury High student. Edward Allen Brown, 59, of Londonderry, NH, was charged with one count of manslaughter. Walter Shelley, 60, of Tewksbury, was charged with one count of first degree murder and one count of intimidation of a witness.
A source close to the investigation, who asked that their name not be used because they are not authorized to comment, said Brown is expected to plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter and will testify against Shelley and Ferreira.
McCabe's body was found the morning of Sept. 27, 1969 in a vacant lot on Maple Street in Lowell. He was bound with rope, with his eyes and mouth taped shut.
McCabe had disappeared after leaving a dance at the Knights of Columbus in Tewksbury and was reported missing by his parents hours later when he did not return home.
Investigators believe Brown, Shelley and Ferreira kidnapped McCabe while he was walking along Route 38, beat him in the back of the car and drove him to the lot in Lowell.
There, according to statements made in by Brown to investigators in March, Ferreira bound and gagged McCabe while the others held him down. The teens then left the scene and returned less than two hours later and found McCabe dead, according to Brown's statement.
Investigators say McCabe's feet were tied to a rope around his neck and he asphyxiated as he tried to free himself. Brown told investigators one reason for the attack was that Shelley believed McCabe was flirting with his girlfriend.
Shelley was indicted on May 26 and arraigned in Lowell Superior Court on June 21 where Judge John Lu ordered the defendant held on $500,000. He has since posted that bail and is free pending an Oct. 17 non-evidenciary hearing.
Brown was also indicted on May 26 and arraigned in Lowell Superior Court on June 28 where Judge John Lu ordered him held on $1,000. He is also free after posting bail.
The Assistant District Attorney assigned to the case is Tom O’Reilly.