, Salem, MA

May 9, 2013

Limbaugh guilty, gets 24 - 26 years in attack on police officer

Julie Manganis


A Level 3 sex offender was sentenced to 24 to 26 years in prison this afternoon for the 2011 attempted murder of a Danvers patrolman. 

Roy Limbaugh, 59, was found guilty this morning of seven counts, including the attempted murder charge, as well as a charge of failing to register as a sex offender. 

Limbaugh, who represented himself at trial, claimed that he acted in self-defense after Patrolman John Melto attacked him. Limbaugh denied causing Melto's wounds. 

But the jury found otherwise, concluding that the attack was initiated by Limbaugh after Melto had left Limbaugh's trailer. 

Melto received life-threatening injuries to his neck, which, a doctor testified, came within millimeters of killing him. He also sustained deep wounds to his hand and arm, leaving him with permanent nerve damage. He has returned to duty. 

The jury deliberated for about 4 1/2 hours Wednesday and this morning before reaching a verdict. 

Limbaugh, who has a lengthy criminal record, will serve a 19-to-20-year sentence for the attack on Melto, to be followed by a five-to-six-year sentence for failing to register, his third such offense. Limbaugh is a sex offender due to a 1997 attempted rape conviction. 

For more on this story, see tomorrow's Salem News and