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UPDATED: Judge Rules Ferreira To Be Tried As An Adult In McCabe Murder

Defendant was 15 years old when he and two others allegedly murdered Johnny McCabe in 1969.

Updated at 7 p.m.

Lowell District Court Judge Patricia Flynn has ruled there is probable cause for Michael Ferreira, one of three men to be tried as an adult for first-degree murder.

“We are pleased with the Judge’s ruling which found probable cause to have Michael Ferreira be tried as an adult for the murder of John McCabe," said District Attorney Gerald Leone. "We will now continue to prepare to hold all three defendants accountable for the death of John McCabe in a court of law.”

McCabe's family, who spent over four decades wondering who had killed Johnny and why, were pleased with the decision.

Roberta Donovan, Johnny McCabe's sister, said her mother, Evelyn, said "that's where he should be," when told of the ruling.

"We suffered and constantly wondered and now I want Superior (Court) to do what is right," added Donovan.

Ferreira will now be arraigned on charges of first-degree murder in Superior Court, though no date has been set. In the meantime, he remains in jail on $500,000 cash bail. The bail was established when Ferreira was charged with perjury as an adult, for allegedly lying to a Grand Jury regarding McCabe's murder back in 2008.

McCabe was allegedly kidnapped while walking along Route 38 after leaving a dance at the Knights of Columbus in September, 1969. He was allegedly beaten and taken to a vacant lot in Lowell,

Ferreira's co-defendants, Edward Alan Brown and Walter Shelley are both free pending their next court appearances. Brown, charged with manslaughter, is free on personal recognizance. Shelley, also charged with first-degree murder, posted $500,000 bail.

Ferreira's attorney, Eric Wilson, could not be reached for comment Friday evening.

Tewksbury Patch's complete coverage of the Johnny McCabe murder investigation

Karyn July 15, 2011 at 09:33 PM
This is great news...finally the justice system gets something right!
Steevo July 15, 2011 at 09:39 PM
I remember Johnny I was 2 years younger. I remember Carol the girl he liked. I'm glad the case is solved. But I'm unable to see the justice punishing those teens responsible now after 42 years. This is a tragedy for everyone involved.
Dan July 15, 2011 at 11:22 PM
You sure this is a Massachusetts judge???? I thought justice was a thing of the past in this state!!!
Kathleen Brothers July 16, 2011 at 01:43 PM
It is only right that he should be tried as an adult. Finally a little justice for Mr. and Mrs McCabe. Kudos to the Judge.......

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