FL – Mayor Dale Massad attempted murder LEs, practice medicine w/o license, Port Richey, 21 FEB 2019

Discussion in 'Crimes in the News' started by SeesSeas, Feb 21, 2019.

  1. SeesSeas

    SeesSeas FLORIDIAN

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    Former Port Richey mayor's defense team asks judge to withhold part of jailhouse phone call tape
    June 20, 2019
    NEW PORT RICHEY — Former Port Richey Mayor Dale Massad walked into the courtroom with a slight limp Thursday morning. His dark hair was combed back. He wore a charcoal colored suit and a light teal shirt, unlike the orange and white jumpsuit he wore while sitting in a wheelchair at his hearing last week.

    Massad’s attorneys asked Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court Judge Mary Handsel to consider striking portions of a recorded phone call Massad made from jail, evidence prosecutors plan to present during his upcoming trial on charges of obstruction of justice. He’s also charged with practicing medicine without a license and attempted murder.

    Their request was partially granted, but not before Handsel questioned their reasons for some of the omissions.
    [...]
    The obstruction case is rolling out first because Massad’s attorneys requested his right to a speedy trial on that charge. Jury selection is set for Monday, and opening statements are set to begin on Tuesday. Attorneys waived Massad's right to a speedy trial on his other charges.
    [...]
    The judge ruled to keep the majority of the audio recording, except for mentions of the homicide-related charges and any mention of her. The jury for the obstruction case will be told only that Massad also is facing more serious charges that occurred during the warrant execution.
    [...]
     
  2. SeesSeas

    SeesSeas FLORIDIAN

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    Judge To Allow Parts of Phone Calls As Evidence In Massad Trial
    UPDATED 1:29 PM ET Jun. 20, 2019
    PORT RICHEY, Fla. — Jurors will be allowed to hear parts of two recordings during next week's trial for former Port Richey Mayor Dale Massad.
    [...]
    "I think what the judge called was appropriate," said Denis deVlaming, Massad's attorney. "We look forward to the trial next week. It’s going to be a short trial, and we expect that he’s going to be acquitted."
    [...]
    The trial, which starts Monday, is expected to last one or two days.
     
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  3. SeesSeas

    SeesSeas FLORIDIAN

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  4. SeesSeas

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    Of interest - regarding Pasco County Sheriff’s Office (same agency arrested Dale Massad)
    “I have a case where the Pasco Sheriff's a criminal and ultimately should be removed," [Attorney] McGuire said. "It's the most corrupt county in the state."

    Former K-9 officer joins lawsuit against Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, says supervisor threatened to kill his dog
    June 21, 2019
    A former Pasco County Sheriff’s Office K-9 deputy has joined the growing list of plaintiffs who filed a federal lawsuit against Sheriff Chris Nocco and several of his high-ranking commanders.

    Former deputy Cliff Baltzer says his sergeant filed a false internal affairs complaint against him in 2018 and threatened to euthanize his canine partner and then go on social media and blame Baltzer for the dog’s death.

    The lawsuit was first filed against top Pasco sheriff’s officials on April 16 by three plaintiffs. They alleged that Nocco and agency leaders are “intoxicated with power and will physically abuse, intimidate, incarcerate, extort, and defame in order to ensure their absolute control.”

    Clearwater attorney John McGuire filed an amended suit on Wednesday, increasing the number of named plaintiffs to 21 former sheriff's employees, including Baltzer. The civil lawsuit makes a claim under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, often called RICO. The suit accuses high-ranking members of the department of gender discrimination, falsifying internal affairs complaints and targeting people who spoke against the department.
    [...]
    “I have a case where the Pasco Sheriff's a criminal and ultimately should be removed," McGuire said. "It's the most corrupt county in the state."
    [...]
    After Baltzer challenged the sergeant’s assertions, he said, the sergeant confronted him in a parking lot and said “I'll make sure I'll put your dog down and make sure you're blamed on social media."

    Baltzer said he was demoted from the K-9 unit due to the complaint. He decided to buy Tundra, paid $8,500 to the Sheriff's Office, and was allowed to pick up the dog after he resigned, he said.
    [...]
     
  5. SeesSeas

    SeesSeas FLORIDIAN

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    Jury Selection Completed in Trial for Former Port Richey Mayor
    PUBLISHED 7:40 AM EDT Jun. 24, 2019 UPDATED 5:22 PM ET Jun. 24, 2019
    PORT RICHEY, Fla. — Attorneys selected a panel of six jurors and one alternate to hear the obstruction of justice case against former Port Richey mayor Dale Massad on Monday. The jurors were selected from an initial group of 50 people.

    Dale Massad, 68, is facing multiple charges stemming from his Feb. 21 arrest. However, this trial is strictly for the obstruction charge, which stems from a jailhouse call between Massad and then-acting Mayor Terrance Rowe, who was arrested almost a month after Massad.
    [...]
     
  6. SeesSeas

    SeesSeas FLORIDIAN

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    Witness Testimony Starts in Ex-Mayor's Obstruction Trial
    PUBLISHED 10:56 AM EDT Jun. 25, 2019
    [...]
    Circuit Judge Mary Handsel opened the proceedings by telling the jury Massad is charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice and use of a two-way communication device. She reminded them the burden is on prosecution to prove charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

    During opening arguments, Massad's attorney Denis deVlaming told the jury they will hear no evidence that there was conspiracy to violate any law. He said the conversation included talk of dissolving the police department, which police officer listening to jail calls didn’t like.
    [...]
     
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  7. SeesSeas

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    Ex-Mayor Massad Found Guilty on Conspiracy to Obstruct Charge
    UPDATED 6:22 PM ET Jun. 25, 2019
    PORT RICHEY, Fla. — Former Port Richey Mayor Dale Massad was found guilty Tuesday of conspiracy to obstruct justice.

    The jury's verdict came at about 6 p.m. at the end of a one-day trial in which four witnesses testified. The jury took less than an hour to decide on the evidence.
    [...]
     
  8. SeesSeas

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    Ex-Port Richey mayor Dale Massad convicted of obstruction; more trials to come
    June 25, 2019
    [...]
    This is just the start of Massad’s legal problems: He still faces trial on charges of attempted murder and practicing medicine without a license.
    [...]
    Massad will continue to be held in jail without bail, pending his next trials. However, Tuesday’s conviction could result in prison time.
    [...]
    The ex-mayor himself did not testify based upon the advice of his attorneys, he told Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court Judge Mary Handsel. But he said he could have.

    “I could testify,” Massad said. “I don’t understand it all very well, obviously, so I’m just going to take their advice.

    “Everything about law is contrary to the way I think.”
     
  9. SeesSeas

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    He’s out: The second mayor of Port Richey arrested in February has resigned
    June 28, 2019
    PORT RICHEY — The Port Richey City Council finally can take a breath. It shook off the last of its most recent political woes on Friday. Four months after his arrest, former Vice Mayor Terry Rowe resigned.

    Rowe's resignation came three days after a jury found former Mayor Dale Massad guilty of obstruction of justice. Rowe is facing the same obstruction charge after he was on the receiving end of a February jailhouse phone call with Massad. Rowe’s pretrial conference is scheduled for July 18. While the two former mayors go through the justice system, the city's new mayor said he is ready to see the city get back to business.
    [...]
     

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