NewsPasco County

Actions

Former Port Richey Mayor Massad denied bond weeks before trial

WFTS-Web-Default-Image_1280x720.png
Posted at 3:24 PM, Jun 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-10 15:24:11-04

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — Former Port Richey Mayor Dale Massad’s attorneys say they’ve told him many times to be careful what he says when he makes phone calls from jail.

But once again he’s being accused of trying to interfere with a witness.

Former Port Richey Mayor's attorneys give crime scene tour to demonstrate his side of events

“Dale Massad is going to do what Dale Massad wants to do and we’ve encouraged him to shut up,” said attorney Denis deVlaming.

Prosecutors say Massad wanted a friend to get a witness to change his testimony, which ended up happening.

This comes after Massad was already charged with obstruction for what he said in another jailhouse call to the man who replaced him as Port Richey’s mayor.

Massad’s son came to court today and says he will look after him if his father bonds out.

Dale Massad faces two more charges following arrest of Port Richey's acting mayor

“He’s my father and best friend,” said Rainey Massad.

His sister says her job as a principal would help in keeping tabs on her troubled brother.

“I’m pretty good at restrictions. That’s what I do for a living,” said Darla Massad.

“They do want to help and they are suffering too. They would like their father and their brother out on bond so that he could be with them,” said deVlaming.

Massad has been in jail since February when investigators said he shot at the Pasco Sheriff’s SWAT team as they tried to serve a warrant.

Port Richey Mayor arrested for attempted murder for firing at SWAT team serving warrant at his home

But those charges were eventually lowered to attempted 2nd-degree murder.

Massad’s lawyers say it's because deputies were not inside his home when he shot, so there was no way he could have been aiming at them.

In a letter read in court Monday, Massad told the judge his health is continuing to fail after almost four months in jail.

He also said witnesses in this case, have been burglarizing his home while’s he’s been locked up.

But Judge Mary Handsel denied bond again for Massad, saying that nothing has really changed in the circumstances involving the case.

Massad’s obstruction trial is set to start on June 24.

But it could still be many months before a trial on the more serious charges from the violent confrontation with law enforcement that started all of this.