Plea Bargains Possible With Two Of Three Defendents In McCabe Killing
Prosecutors in conversations with Walter Shelley and his attorney.
The McCabe family waited more than 41 years for arrests to be made in the murder of their son/brother.
Their pursuit of justice may be nearing a conclusion.
In April, 2011, law enforcement officials arrested Edward Brown of Londonderry, NH, Michael Ferreira of Salem NH and Walter Shelley of Tewksbury in connection with the death of Johnny McCabe. The 15-year-old Tewksbury High student was walking home from a dance at the Knights of Columbus on Sept. 26, 1969, when he was grabbed off the street, driven to a vacant lot in Lowell and tied up in such a way that it caused him to suffocate.
Brown, 60, whose confession during a March 2011 interrogation led to the arrests, has been charged with manslaughter. Shelley, 61, and Ferreira, 58, have each been charged with 1st degree murder.
Ferreira's trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 9 in Lowell Superior Court, with Shelley's trial set to begin on Dec. 3. However, prosecutors from the office of District Attorney Gerry Leone appear now to be focusing their efforts on Ferreira.
According to a source close to the investigation, Shelley and his attorney were scheduled to meet with prosecutors on Tuesday, July 24, to discuss a possible plea bargain. But the meeting was postponed to Aug. 2.
Any deal with Shelley would likely involve him pleading guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for his testimony against Ferreira. In Brown's confession to investigators in 2011, he accused Ferreira of being the member of the trio most directly responsible for McCabe's death. It was Ferreira, said Brown, who tied a rope around McCabe's neck and then tied it to his legs, which ultimately resulted in his death.
Brown claimed that he and Shelley just wanted to scare and humiliate McCabe.
Brown has not pled guilty in the case but no trial date has been set either. It's possible that prosecutors already have a deal in place in exchange for his testimony against Ferreira.