“He was a wonderful boy,” she said. “He was 100 percent boy.”
McCabe was also very kind and popular, she said.
“All the kids loved him,” she said. “He would help them in any way he could.”
The family now waits for Shelley to go on trial. He has been charged with first-degree murder and witness intimidation.
No trial date has been scheduled for Shelley, who is scheduled to appear in Lowell Superior Court on Feb. 11 for a status hearing.
A status hearing for Brown is set for Feb. 7 in Lowell Superior Court. He is to be sentenced after testifying against Shelley.
Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said prosecutors were disappointed with the verdict, but will now focus on bringing Shelley to trial.
“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 three defendants that withstands our high burdens of proof and persuasion,” Leone said in a statement.
“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,” Leone said.
Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.