, Salem, MA

Local News

October 11, 2012

Suspect in slashing loses 1st arguments

DANVERS — Now acting as his own lawyer, the Danvers sex offender charged with the attempted murder of a Danvers patrolman last year argued a pair of motions yesterday.

It didn’t go well for Roy Limbaugh, 59, who had lived in a recreational vehicle parked behind a building on Pope’s Lane prior to his arrest on the morning of Aug. 19, 2011.

Veteran Danvers Patrolman John Melto received multiple slashing and stabbing wounds to his neck, arms and hands during what prosecutors have described as an “ambush” by Limbaugh, who was wanted on warrants at the time.

Salem Superior Court Judge John Lu denied most of Limbaugh’s requests.

The stocky Limbaugh began with a request for the return of his car and a truck, which were seized by police following his arrest.

He went on at length, accusing Danvers police Detective Tim Williamson (whom he referred to as “Wilmington” throughout his argument) of tricking him in order to “steal” the vehicles.

“It’s illegal, what he done,” Limbaugh told the judge, demanding Williamson’s arrest for “grand theft” of what he claims were $32,000 worth of vehicles.

Prosecutor Gerald Shea, meanwhile, pointed out that police no longer have either vehicle, noting they were sent to a tow yard for storage after police were done examining them.

But that was 14 months ago, and it’s not known whether the tow yard still has either vehicle.

Lu suggested that Limbaugh contact the tow yard.

The judge also denied Limbaugh’s request to file countercharges against Melto, whom he accuses of “police brutality.” Lu found that the Superior Court has no jurisdiction in the matter. He did offer to send a copy of Limbaugh’s motion to a District Court judge.

Limbaugh has been appointed three different attorneys to represent him in the case, which could send him to prison for the rest of his life, but all three later withdrew or were fired by Limbaugh because he insisted they take actions the lawyers considered unethical or beyond the scope of their duties as court-appointed lawyers. He now represents himself with the aid of a fourth taxpayer-funded lawyer.

Limbaugh is due back in court Nov. 6.

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

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