SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

May 8, 2013

Jury sees Limbaugh interrogation

'He must have done it to himself,' claimed suspect of police officer's wounds

DANVERS — After days of being told by a judge he would have his chance to testify, Roy Limbaugh, the Danvers man representing himself on charges that he tried to kill a Danvers police officer, decided yesterday not to take the stand in his own defense.

Jurors did get to hear from him yesterday, however, through a video-recorded interrogation by Danvers police on the afternoon of Aug. 19, 2011, hours after the early morning confrontation between Limbaugh, 60, and veteran Danvers patrolman John Melto. That was played for jurors by prosecutor Gerald Shea, who then rested his case.

Melto was left with deep slash wounds to his neck, arms and hands that required surgery to repair.

Limbaugh, who last week insisted to jurors in his opening statement that Melto’s wounds were self-inflicted “scratches,” told police detectives who questioned him the day of the incident that he never stabbed the officer.

The detectives, Robert Sullivan and Timothy Williamson, were skeptical.

“So an officer who is 10 years younger, and bigger than you, attacks you and you’re miraculously unhurt, and he comes out bleeding from many, many cuts?” asked Williamson.

“If what you’re telling me is true, he must have done it to himself,” said Limbaugh, who was dressed in a Tyvek coverall police had given him to wear after taking his bloody clothes.

Limbaugh claimed he never saw Melto bleeding, only the blood that, he claimed, suddenly covered his hands and arms.

“I never seen no blood coming from his face or his chest,” Limbaugh said.

Limbaugh told the detectives he had already warned Melto, who had knocked on the door of his trailer early that morning, that if he returned, “I’m gonna open my door, I’m gonna go out there.”

Later, he told officers, he left his trailer, the type that can be towed behind a vehicle, and saw a cruiser.

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