UPDATED: Jury Finds Ferreira Not Guilty In Death of Johnny McCabe

District attorney Gerry Leone says he will continue to pursue 1st Degree murder case against Walter Shelley.

Updated at 1 p.m.

A Middlesex Superior Court jury has found Michael Ferreira not guilty in connection with the 1969 death of Tewksbury teen Johnny McCabe.

Despite the testimony of Edward Alan Brown, who admitted to his role in the murder and implicated Ferreira, the Salem, NH man was acquitted.

The jury deliberated roughly five hours before announcing their verdict.

District Attorney Gerry Leone said he was disappointed in the decision of the jury but that he intended to pursue the murder charge against the third man indicted in connection with the crime, Walter Shelley of Tewksbury.

“Although we are disappointed with the verdict, we respect the right of the jury to render this decision today and thank them for their service to the Commonwealth," said Leone, in a prepared statement. "We appreciate the challenges of trying a homicide case 43 years after the killing occurred, however we make decisions on the facts and law, and feel that we have built a strong and solid case against all 3 defendants that withstands our high burdens of proof and persuasion. Accordingly, we will proceed with preparing for the trial of co-defendant Walter Shelley. 

"We will continue to honor the memory of John McCabe by continuing to fight for justice on behalf of him, his family, and the Commonwealth," he said.

Stay with Tewksbury Patch for more on this story, including reaction from the prosecution and the defense, as it becomes available.

Click here for complete coverage of the Michael Ferreira Murder Trial.

Kevin January 26, 2013 at 07:15 PM
It's hard to believe that the prosecutor was incompetent. Although I was not there nor in the jury room, it strains credulity that 12 people who heard a witness who was there and described what happened for the jury to return anything but a guilty verdict regardless of the severity of the charge. If as teenagers they wanted to scare him I can think of a lot of ways to do that without tying him up and leaving him for dead,, No different if you are a teenager and you walk into a convenience store to rob it and you don't plan on any resistance and you end up killing the store clerk..I suspect that a juror was tainted in some fashion. This is beyond the smell test...
Port987 January 26, 2013 at 09:12 PM
Did you ever think ...that the accused may be innocent.......Happens all the time
Port987 January 26, 2013 at 09:17 PM
Maybe they should have gone after the prime suspect.........that they let get away in 1969......There is your Justice system...........
Kevin January 27, 2013 at 03:25 AM
If Brown said he was there and the defendant was there, then there is no gray area. The defendant was there, he participated in the crime. Where is the reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury. Why would the witness make up the story 43 year later ? To unburden himself of the guilt...This is a textbook case why we should have professional juries made up of people with common sense- which seems to be not too common with this jury. As DA I would call each juror in a room privately and determine if they were bribed... This is sick and the family of the victim deserves full accountability of the jury.
Kevin February 01, 2013 at 08:13 PM
By virtue of your statement " all of the evidence " you imply that either all of the evidence was not presented or there was exculpatory evidence that created reasonable doubt. There can be no debate, if Mr. Brown said he was there and participated in the prank gone wrong with the defendant, then any reasonable person would conclude that the defendant was a party to the crime. There cannot be any other explanation. Either he was there or he was not. if he could establish he was elsewhere then reasonable doubt exists. Otherwise he is guilty. maybe not of premeditated murder by surely 2nd degree as it is defined. Please use your common sense.


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