PASCO COUNTY, Fla (WFLA) — The disgraced ex-mayor of Port Richey has accepted a plea deal and avoided a potential life in prison sentence for shooting at Pasco County deputies.
A plea deal was reached between the state and the attorneys for Dale Massad stemming from his arrest in February 2019 when deputies went to serve a search warrant on his home for practicing medicine without a license.
Last week, during a virtual court hearing, the prosecutors and defense attorneys for the ex-Port Richey mayor revealed the details of a plea deal.
The state agreed to drop the attempted murder charges in exchange for Massad accepting a plea deal which included being charged with one count of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, which is a second-degree felony.
On Wednesday, following the formal plea hearing, Massad’s attorneys said their client is glad this case has come to an end.
“He is happy it’s over, but as far as pleased about what transpired in the case he is not so. He felt from the very beginning he acted in self-defense,” said Denis Devlaming.
Pasco County Sheriff’s Sgt. Billy Lindsey spoke during the hearing and expressed how unhappy he was with the plea deal.
“The fact that we are here entertaining a plea deal in a case where the defendant is accused of intentionally, willfully and knowingly shooting a firearm at law enforcement during the execution of a search warrant is disgusting,” said Sgt. Lindsey.
The judge noted that this was a plea agreement worked out between the state and the defense, saying the court had nothing to do with it. She went on to say Massad is getting “quite the deal.”
Massad’s sentence is set to be three years in prison followed by 10 years of probation. He has already spent two years in prison and his lawyers say that will count as time served. There is no set release date for Massad at this time.