Augusta Commission member Alvin Mason said he got the “best possible outcome” when a visiting judge agreed to dismiss assault and battery charges and laid aside a family violence charge against him Thursday.
Burke County State Court Judge Jerry Daniel agreed to appointed prosecutor Fay McCormack’s recommendation on the misdemeanor charges, which stemmed from a December incident involving Mason’s wife.
McCormack, who was named prosecutor after Richmond County solicitors recused themselves to avoid the appearance of a conflict, said the state had performed “an intensive evaluation” of the facts before deciding to drop and dead-docket the charges.
“We have determined that we will not continue with this case,” said McCormack, the traffic safety resource coordinator for the Prosecuting Attorneys Council of Georgia.
The December incident – in which Mason’s wife told a 911 operator that her husband “put his hands on me,” then told Richmond County deputies Mason grabbed her by the neck during an argument – doesn’t go away entirely. Dead-docketing the family violence charge means it will remain on the books, “to keep it in case anything would happen in the future,” said Charronne Adams, the Burke County victims’ advocate who assisted with the case, before Daniel agreed to the disposition.
After the hearing, Mason was grim.
“It’s been a long time coming,” he said. “It’s a very unfortunate situation to everyone involved.”
Neither Mason nor his attorney, Freddie Sanders, would acknowledge whether the commissioner and his wife remain together. They sat separately at the hearing.
“I don’t owe that to anyone,” Mason said. “That is between family, and that is where that would stay.”
Sanders, now the Republican nominee for Richmond County sheriff, said the outcome was the proper resolution to what was “an unfortunate incident.”