PORT RICHEY, Fla. (FOX 13) - The first of two trials begin Monday for former Port Richey mayor Dale Massad, who has been behind bars since February after investigators said he fired shots at SWAT team members inside his home.
Massad faces an obstruction of justice charge after allegedly making calls from jail, instructing the then-interim mayor, Terrence Rowe, to help conspire against a key witness - a police officer. The Port Richey officer was involved in the SWAT raid at Massad's home back in February.
On a recorded jail phone line, Massad told Rowe to look into the specific officer's history with the police department, officials said at the time.
Jury selection begins Monday morning, but because of a ruling last week, the jurors seated on the trial won't hear the full audio tapes of the jail house call. The judge ruled that parts of the phone call having to do with the attempted murder charges cannot be used in the current trial, which solely focuses on the obstruction of justice charge.
Massad will stand trial at a later date for attempted murder charges. Those charges stem from an incident at his home in which he's accused of shooting at Pasco County deputies.