SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

April 5, 2013

Suspect in slashing case set to stand trial

BY JULIE MANGANIS
STAFF WRITER

---- — DANVERS — The trial of a man charged with ambushing and slashing a Danvers patrolman nearly two years ago is scheduled to begin April 29.

But Roy Limbaugh, who is representing himself on charges that include attempted murder, insisted yesterday, “There will be no trial,” and then tried to hand Salem Superior Court Judge Howard Whitehead a bill for $400,000.

Limbaugh, 59, who had been living in a travel trailer parked outside 37 Popes Lane, is a Level 3 sex offender who, Danvers police say, had refused to tell them where he was working, leading them to charge him with failing to register as a sex offender.

It was during their effort to locate Limbaugh in August 2011 that Limbaugh confronted veteran Patrolman John Melto outside the trailer, initially appearing conciliatory, then pulling out a knife and attacking the officer, prosecutors allege.

Yesterday, Limbaugh, who is representing himself, argued the latest in a series of motions he has filed in the case, seeking to have Whitehead dismiss the charge of failing to register.

Limbaugh insisted that the grand jury testimony by police, including a Danvers detective he continually misidentifies as “Timothy Wilmington,” was “fraudulent.”

Limbaugh produced a copy of the most recent registration, showing that he’d informed police where he was living. “This was evidence that was knowingly known,” Limbaugh said.

Police and prosecutors don’t dispute that he told them he was living in the trailer. But prosecutor Gerald Shea said the concern of police was that they had no idea where Limbaugh was spending his days, and possibly his nights, as he worked as a so-called “independent contractor.”

“He’s been serially employed at a variety of places,” said Shea, who explained that the officers were concerned that they did not know exactly where.

They believe he may have been working in Stoughton at the time.

When Whitehead explained to Limbaugh that he was not taking evidence in the case yesterday, because it was a motion based on the argument of a lack of sufficient evidence, Limbaugh protested.

“Your honor, listen to me, I’m not a fool,” Limbaugh started before Whitehead cut him off.

“Mr. Limbaugh, don’t ever say to a judge, ‘Listen to me,’” Whitehead warned.

After denying Limbaugh’s motion, the judge asked about the next event in the case, the trial.

“There will be no trial,” Limbaugh announced, the first of several times he made that statement. Limbaugh said he planned to appeal Whitehead’s decision.

But the Supreme Judicial Court already told Limbaugh not to come back to them with any more appeals until after his case is tried, after he tried to appeal an earlier ruling in the case.

When told of that fact, Limbaugh still insisted, “I’m canceling that date.”

“A defendant cannot unilaterally cancel a trial date,” the judge told him.

“Let me put it this way,” Limbaugh responded. “There’s going to be a lot of changes here. There is not going to be a trial.”

Then, for several moments, Limbaugh fumbled through an envelope of paperwork, before pulling out his “bill.”

The judge did not accept it.

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