The family of John J. McCabe is suing three men for his Massachusetts wrongful death. McCabe, a 15-year-old Tewskbury boy, was murdered in 1969 after he was kidnapped, tied up with his mouth and eyes taped shut, and left in an empty Lowell field. He died from asphyxiation because the ropes that bound his legs and hands to his neck strangled him as he tried to escape. Now, his family wants $10M from the three men who were responsible.
Prosecutors accused Walter Shelley, 61, Edwards Alan Brown, 60, and Michael Ferreira, 59, of kidnapping McCabe after the cold case was cracked in 2011. The three men, then 17, 18, and 16, resprectively, allegedly abducted McCabe because he flirted with Shelley’s girlfriend.
Although the friends swore a secrecy oath, Brown confessed a few years ago and testified against the other two men in exchange for a manslaughter plea and no time in jail. While Shelley was convicted of first-degree murder, Ferreira was cleared of the charge last year. Because of a Supreme Judicial Court ruling two months ago deciding juveniles cannot receive a life prison sentence without parole, Shelley, who was a teenager at the time of McCabe’s murder, is expected to get a lifetime prison sentence with the possibility of parole after 15 years.
McCabe’s mother, Evelyn McCabe, 81, wants Lowell, MA wrongful death damages from Brown, Shelley, and Ferreira for her son’s pain and suffering prior to his passing and for loss of consortium. Her Massachusetts injury lawyer says the civil process will help reveal the full story of what happened and why. While Shelley and Ferreira were not obligated to answer questions or take the stand during their criminal proceedings, they will have to provide answers under oath with this lawsuit.
Massachusetts Wrongful Death
Although a Boston wrongful death case cannot bring your loved one back, filing a civil complaint can allow you to hold the responsible parties accountable, while providing financial acknowledgement of your pain and suffering and resulting losses. You want to make sure you work with a legal team experienced in handling such cases to increase your chances of maximum recovery.
Tewksbury family files wrongful-death suit in 1969 ‘cold case’ slaying, Lowell Sun, February 12, 2014
Massachusetts Wrongful Death, General Laws of Massachusetts
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