, Salem, MA

September 21, 2012

Cop slashing suspect representing himself


---- — DANVERS — After being unable to work with three different lawyers appointed to represent him over the past year, Roy Limbaugh, charged with slashing a Danvers patrolman last summer, is on his own.

Sort of.

During a hearing late last month, a Salem Superior Court judge allowed a request by Limbaugh’s third lawyer to withdraw, citing a breakdown in the relationship.

Judge John Lu then ruled that Limbaugh will have to now represent himself as the year-old case proceeds to trial.

But Limbaugh will still have some legal help — a Salem attorney, Joseph Collins, has been appointed “standby” counsel in the case.

Limbaugh, who was wanted on warrants and who allegedly had failed to register as a sex offender, is charged with ambushing veteran Danvers patrolman John Melto outside Limbaugh’s Pope’s Lane trailer back in August of 2011.

During another hearing yesterday, Limbaugh filed a series of motions, including one seeking $500 to hire a private investigator in the case, which was granted, and two others he’s been promising for months — a request for access to a criminal complaint form so that he can press charges against Melto, and a demand that the Danvers police return property seized after his arrest.

Salem Superior Court Judge Garry Inge scheduled a hearing on Oct. 10 for the latter two motions.

He also, at the urging of prosecutor Gerald Shea, ordered that any other pre-trial motions Limbaugh intends to file in the case, such as motions to suppress evidence, must be filed by Oct. 10 as well.

During a hearing last month, Shea noted that in the year the case has been pending, it has not moved any closer to a trial date. Meanwhile, Melto, sometimes accompanied by his wife, has attended each hearing in the case.

Limbaugh remains held on $1 million cash bail at Middleton Jail.

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