Augusta Commissioner Alvin Mason will plead not guilty at his arraignment Thursday on domestic violence charges from last year and request a jury trial, his attorney said Wednesday.
Mason, now in his second term representing District 4, was arrested in December on charges of simple assault and simple battery after an incident involving his wife at their Hephzibah home.
A recording of the call made to 911, obtained by The Augusta Chronicle, indicated Mason’s wife was highly distraught when she told a dispatcher that the commissioner grabbed her by the neck and pushed her against a wall.
But the incident was a misunderstanding that didn’t rise to the level of domestic violence, said Mason’s attorney, Freddie Sanders.
For that reason Mason is requesting a trial, the attorney said.
“He’s not guilty,” Sanders said.
Charges were brought against Mason in Richmond County State Court, but all the state court prosecutors recused themselves because of the commission’s involvement in setting the court budget.
State Court Solicitor Charles Evans requested the Prosecuting Attorneys Council of Georgia assign an outside prosecutor to the case.
Mason is one of several suspects being arraigned in state court at a 9 a.m. hearing Thursday at Augusta Richmond County Judicial Center and John H. Ruffin Courthouse.