April 19, 2011 / 9:30 PM / 8 years ago

Middle aged man due in juvenile court for 1969 murder

BOSTON (Reuters) - A middle-aged man accused of killing a 15-year-old boy in 1969, when he was a teen himself, pleaded not guilty to perjury charges on Tuesday and will face murder charges in juvenile court.

At the time of the homicide, Michael Ferreira, now 57, was 16 years old and therefore he will be arraigned in juvenile court for the murder of John Joseph McCabe in Lowell.

Ferreira, of Salem, New Hampshire pleaded not guilty in Lowell District Court to charges of perjury and intimidation of a witness. He was ordered held on $500,000 cash bail, said Cara O’Brien, spokeswoman for the Middlesex district attorney’s office.

Ferreira is one of three men charged in McCabe’s death. Walter Shelley, 60 of Tewksbury, Massachusetts has pleaded not guilty to murder, and Edward Brown, 59, of Londonderry, New Hampshire has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter, authorities said.

While all three were teens at the time of the killing, only Ferreira was under 18.

Ferreira first faced a fugitive from justice warrant in New Hampshire before he was brought back to Massachusetts.

Recent developments in the 41-year-old investigation led to the charges, the Middlesex district attorney’s office has said.

According to authorities, on September 27, 1969, Lowell Police found the body of a young man in a vacant field.

It turned out to be McCabe, who had disappeared after leaving a dance and was reported missing by his parents hours later.

Authorities said the three men had abducted McCabe, held him in a car, assaulted him, and bound and gagged him. The car was driven to a vacant field, where McCabe was left to die, authorities said.

The cause of death was asphyxia due to strangulation, the district attorney has said.

All three men are next due in court May 26.

Reporting by Lauren Keiper; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Greg McCune

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