, Salem, MA

Local News

October 31, 2012

Judge orders Manchester cop held until trial


The judge also pointed to the fact that Swallow’s gun went off — his lawyer says accidentally — after his wife fled.

“God forbid if that gun went off when it was pointed at her,” the judge said. “He’d be here on a homicide charge.”

The judge’s ruling and remarks came following a hearing that lasted just over an hour and included testimony from one of the responding officers, as well as a series of phone calls between Beverly police and Swallow’s wife.

Swallow’s lawyer, Ronald Ranta, initially objected to two of the phone calls, placed by police to Swallow’s wife after the initial 911 call by a neighbor, contending that since Beverly police never told her the calls were being recorded, they violated state wiretapping laws — a charge that Lauranzano quickly rejected.

The first call, from the couple’s Devon Avenue neighbor, came just after midnight. “My neighbor just came in the house and reported her husband has a gun,” the neighbor is heard telling a dispatcher on the recorded 911 call. Swallow’s wife can be heard crying in the background.

“He’s been acting weird all night,” said Swallow’s wife, adding that he had been drinking in his bedroom all evening.

The couple got into an argument, during which she told police he threw her iPhone in the toilet and her keys out a window. She told him to leave, but he refused, she told police.

“I said something I shouldn’t have,” the woman told police, a reference to an ongoing investigation into child sexual abuse allegations against Swallow in New Hampshire.

“I regret saying it,” she told the dispatcher.

After she threatened to testify against him in the New Hampshire case, she told police Swallow left her room, then returned with a Ruger handgun. “He just put it right to my head,” she said.

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