PORT RICHEY, Fla. - Port Richey's former mayor, Dale Massad was in court Friday morning. His attorneys are asking the judge for a speedy trial on two of the charges against their client.
Massad is accused of firing towards officers during a SWAT raid.
His attorneys made a move they hope will force the judge to give Massad bond so he can wait at home for his trial to start.
The SWAT raid of his home in February came after allegations Massad was operating an illegal medical practice from his residence.
Court documents filed in April allege he regularly used crack cocaine and crystal meth. He’s also accused of performing medical procedures inside his kitchen.
Massad’s attorneys say the raid was politically motivated. They also argue Massad allowed people to stay at his home, so when someone broke down his door early in the morning, he fired shots in self-defense.
“Why did he fire shots? He was scared,” Massad’s attorney said. “The only way a police officer would have been in any danger is if our client shot down a hallway, that bullet took a hard right turn and then went down 45 degrees”
A judge pulled Massad’s option for bond after Massad made a phone call to the town’s then vice mayor, Terrence Rowe, wherein Massad is accused of trying to conspire to tamper with a key witness - a city police officer who was also involved in the SWAT raid.
Massad: I don't know why, but he's in on everything.
Rowe: I’m on it.
Massad: OK, so anything you can do is good.
Rowe: …this doesn't go down without someone answering for it…
“The phone call is clear. He’s not asking Mr. Rowe to do anything inappropriate,” Massad’s attorney said.
His defense is asking for a speedy trial on charges related to the phone call - conspiracy to obstruct justice and use of a two-way communication device. They’re confident he’ll be found not guilty and will be given bond on the attempted murder charges.
Massad will make his appearance before a Pasco County judge and jury at the end of next month.