Wrongful death lawyer in South Carolina discusses lawsuit filed by mother of murder victim, John McCabe, in Massachusetts. In 1969, John McCabe was a normal 15 year old boy. It was around the end of September when he attended the Knights of Columbus dance in his hometown. When the dance was over, he had no ride home, so John decided to hitchhike. He was spotted by three older teenagers driving that evening and was “picked up.” This would be one of the last things John would do before his untimely demise. John’s family would have to wait almost 45 years to find out what happened to their son.
Allegedly, John wasn’t picked up by anyone with good intentions that night after the dance. He was forced into the back seat of the vehicle the three teenagers were in, then he was physically assaulted by one of them as they drove around. Next, the men took John to an open field and tied his ankles to his neck. They left him there, to teach him some sort of lesson, and returned about 45 minutes later to untie him. The men didn’t expect to find John unconscious and not breathing. They got back in their car, vowing to never tell anyone what happened that night. John’s body was found the next morning by two passersby and authorities were alerted. No one seemed to know anything about the case, and it went cold until 2008.
That is when the investigation started focusing around three men, Walter Shelley, Ed Brown and Michael Ferreira. Brown actually came forward before the others, confessing to police investigators that he and his two friends had decided to “rough John up” because they were fighting over a girl. Ferreira has since been cleared of any murder charges, Brown acted as a states witness, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and received no jail time, and Shelley seemed to have been the focus of police attention and he faces charges of fist degree murder. However, defense attorneys for Shelley argued that Brown was the actual killer.
That aside, as he awaits his sentencing hearing, Shelley’s future is now in question due to a 2012 Supreme Court ruling in a similar case that “defendants who commit murder before their 18th birthday cannot face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole because it violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.” Shelley was three months away from his 18th birthday when the murder was committed. The court’s decision does apply to all defendants convicted of murder who are under the age of 18, but it does not work as a get-out-of-jail-free card. The decision simply prevents a mandatory life sentence without parole for those who commit murder as minors. For Shelley, one likelihood is that he could be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for next week.
The wrongful death lawsuit filed by John’s 81-year-old mother names all three men and asks for $10 million in damages. The suit is seeking compensations for the “loss of consortium, pain and suffering, negligence, gross negligence and/or intentional acts in the death of McCabe.” Mrs. McCabe stated that “it’s not about the money. I would like to have the whole truth come out. I want to know what happened to my son. I promised my husband I would see it through to the end.” She also stated that police officers for the case did a “remarkable job” in solving the case in 2011, but she is now ready for the civil process to begin. Since the lawsuit has been filed, the wrongful death lawyer will be able to depose the men involved, under oath, to have Mrs. McCabe’s questions answered.
When a loved one is taken from a family too soon, speaking with an experienced wrongful death lawyer will hopefully help to ease your mind a bit. Following your free consultation, should the wrongful death attorney find that your case has merit, work will begin immediately on your case so that you may receive the compensation and justice that is deserved for your injury or loss. The attorney will also fully investigate the incident, visit the scene of the incident and interview witnesses for your case.
If you or someone you know would like to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you will need to speak with a good wrongful death lawyer in your area. Call an experienced Myrtle Beach wrongful death lawyer at The Mace Firm for South Carolina legal services. One of The Mace Firm’s Charleston injury lawyers is ready to speak with you about your case.