LAKE COUNTY,Fla.,None — WFTV learned on Tuesday that a doctor arrested accused of trying to hire a hitman to kill his business partner will see no jail time.
Instead of solicitation to commit murder, the case was pleaded down to criminal mischief, which means probation for Dr. Akram Ismail. All of the Lake County sheriff's wire taps were inaudible. There were also problems with witness statements in the case, said officials.
Ismail is on probation after he was accused of trying to hire two hit men to kill his former business partner, Dr. Nehme Gabriel, and blow up his office.
In October of 2009, Ismail denied the allegations after he was asked by reporters during his arrest.
Lake County detectives said the two men had a professional falling out.
Ismail was originally charged with two counts of solicitation to commit murder, but the charges were dropped to two misdemeanor counts of solicitation to commit criminal mischief.
Prosecutors wanted Ismail to get 75 years, but had problems with the evidence.
Detectives wire-tapped the witnesses, but all of the tapes were unusable due to interference and background noise.
"Typically the audio is clear, but this a fluke instance," said Lt. John Herrell of the Lake County Sheriff's Office
Defense attorneys said the witnesses were also not credible. The men Ismail was accused of trying to hire, were accused of illegally recorded the doctor and trying to extort money from him before they went to police.
Defense attorneys also said they didn't cooperate during depositions.
"At time they were showing up to our deposition impaired or under the influence," said Rajan Joshi, a defense attorney.
The doctor who was targeted had no comment for WFTV.
Ismail's medical license has been temporarily suspended and he is in the process of trying to get it in reinstated.