, Salem, MA

Local News

May 1, 2013

Prosecutor outlines attack on cop

SALEM — Assistant District Attorney Gerald Shea used his index finger to trace a line from his right ear to his chin to illustrate how Patrolman John Melto was slashed on the morning of Aug. 19. 2011.

Convicted Level 3 sex offender Roy Limbaugh is accused in the attack.

Shea’s opening remarks during the start of yesterday’s attempted-murder trial in Salem Superior Court revealed details of the bloody altercation that took place as Melto conducted surveillance on Limbaugh’s trailer at 37 Popes Lane.

In front of the jury of eight men and six women, Limbaugh, acting as his own attorney, denied the attack. He faces seven charges, including failing to register as a sex offender, armed assault to murder, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. He has pleaded not guilty.

On the morning of the attack, Melto went looking for Limbaugh because a state trooper asked Danvers police to arrest him on motor vehicle warrants out of Somerville and Concord district courts, Shea said. Danvers Detective Timothy Williamson also wanted to speak to Limbaugh because his sex offender registry form said he was “self-employed” and lacked a workplace address.

Limbaugh was convicted of assault to commit rape in 1999, and Shea said “his status was not updated properly.”

Limbaugh yesterday said he was working as an independent contractor who made deliveries for a living. There was some conflicting testimony about exactly when Limbaugh left a former job as a delivery driver for a Middleton sunroom installer.

In the days leading up to the attack, Williamson asked Melto, who works the night shift, to find Limbaugh after Williamson was unable to do so during the day from Aug. 5-15. In the meantime, Williamson had Limbaugh’s delivery truck towed from Popes Lane because its registration had been revoked. Limbaugh’s RV and a black Ford Explorer were also unregistered.

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