SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

January 31, 2013

Suspect: Cop's injuries a 'mystery'

(Continued)

Limbaugh’s argument for dismissal appeared to center mostly on his claim that police had no justification to attempt to arrest him on two motor vehicle warrants or for failing to register as a sex offender.

He claimed that Danvers Detective Timothy Williamson (whom he repeatedly misidentified as “Wilmington”) had purposely impounded (or as Limbaugh put it, “stole”) his unregistered truck in order to “entice” him to show up at the police station. He also claimed, erroneously, that police were required to have not only printed copies of the warrants but also officers from the towns where those warrants were issued when they showed up at his trailer, which was parked in a driveway on Popes Lane.

But Whitehead pointed out to Limbaugh that not only was he wrong about the requirements of a warrant arrest, those details are irrelevant to the charges he was seeking to dismiss yesterday.

Prosecutor Gerald Shea said little during the hearing, arguing that a review of the grand jury transcript reveals ample evidence on which to indict Limbaugh.

As for Limbaugh’s claims of being attacked, Shea argued that it was the other way around.

Melto “was ambushed by Mr. Limbaugh, who was in an enraged state because of the police towing his truck,” Shea said. “Looking at the injuries (Melto) received, (Limbaugh’s) story is not credible at all.”

During the hearing, Melto and his wife sat just a few feet behind Limbaugh. It was the first time that Limbaugh has appeared in court without remaining inside a holding area of the courtroom. Instead, he was seated at a defense table next to a lawyer appointed as “standby” counsel.

After Whitehead denied his motion, Limbaugh told him he plans to appeal that ruling, a legal long shot, since the Appeals Court relatively rarely takes up appeals before a trial. Limbaugh’s trial is scheduled for April 29.

Limbaugh, who is being held on $1 million bail, made one final request of the judge yesterday, that he be released on his own recognizance so that he can prepare for trial.

“I was the judge who set bail in the case, and I would not be inclined to reduce it,” Whitehead responded.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.

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