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.
Massad is charged with practicing medicine without a license, along with firing shots at deputies as they tried to serve a search warrant at his home in February.
In court Thursday for a pretrial hearing, Massad's attorneys tried to keep some evidence out of trial. Attorneys discussed two phone calls that could be played in court, including a jailhouse call between Massad and then-acting Mayor Terrance Rowe.
After the call, the two were accused of obstruction of justice and conspiring against a Port Richey police officer involved in another case against Massad.
The statements that the defense don't want the jury to hear have to do with the charges of practicing medicine without a license and attempted murder, for firing shots at deputies.
Pasco-Pinellas Circuit Court Judge Mary Handsel said there is no way to get into the obstruction of justice charges without the other cases coming up at some point during the trial. Handsel also noted there has to be some balance so that the jury isn't prejudiced against Massad.
She ruled that some parts of the call, including Massad's mention of the premeditated homicide charges against him, could be redacted. Other details, however, including a mention of one of the medical procedures Massad allegedly performed at his home, would remain.
"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."
Another phone call discussed Thursday was between Massad and his on-and-off girlfriend.
The trial, which starts Monday, is expected to last one or two days.