Opening arguments will be heard today in Woburn Superior Court in the 1st degree murder trial of Michael Ferreira.
Ferreira is one of three men facing charges in connection with the 1969 death of Tewksbury teen Johnny McCabe. The 15-year-old Tewksbury High student was found dead in a vacant lot in Lowell after disappearing while walking home from a dance at the Knights of Columbus on Route 38.
Ferreira, 58, of Salem, NH, was arrested in April 2011, along with Walter Shelley, 61, of Tewksbury and Edward Brown of Londonderry, NH. In addition to the top count of murder, Ferreira was also charged with perjury and lying to a grand jury.
Brown has been charged with manslaughter and is expected to be the star witness in Ferreira's trial. He is expected to plead guilty in exchange for a sentencing recommendation.
Shelley is charged with first degree murder and intimidating a witness. There have been mixed reports as to whether Shelley has agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for his testimony against Ferreira.
Prosecutors believe the three men abducted McCabe off the street because they believed the teen had been flirting with Shelley's girlfriend. They drove to the vacant lot in Lowell, where it's alleged Shelley and Brown held McCabe down, while Ferreira bound and gagged him in such a way that it led to his asphyxiation.