Mason’s case is scheduled for trial at 9 a.m. Monday in a third-floor courtroom of the John H. Ruffin Jr. Courthouse, said Richmond County State Court Administrator Jan Hardy. The commissioner’s attorney, Freddie Sanders, filed a motion for a speedy trial in March.
He said Tuesday that the commissioner hoped for some resolution in the case soon.
“I fully anticipate first thing Monday morning we’ll be picking a jury,” Sanders said.
Mason pleaded not guilty at a March 29 hearing to charges of simple assault and simple battery. Prosecutor Fay McCormack, an attorney at Prosecuting Attorneys Council of Georgia who was assigned to the case after local prosecutors recused themselves, later amended the formal accusation to include a second count of battery.
The charges stem from a Dec. 23 incident at Mason’s Hephzibah residence in which his wife told deputies he grabbed her by the neck and pushed her against the wall during a dispute. Deputies responding to Velma Mason’s 911 call saw redness and a small cut on her neck, according to an incident report.
Mason surrendered to authorities Dec. 27 and spent no time in jail.
In court filings, Velma Mason described the incident: “My husband perceived that another family member was in potential physical harm and naturally he intervened in the matter; during his intervention, emotions flared up and my husband displayed aggressive behavior toward me, his wife. His aggressive behavior was new territory for us both.”
In another statement she made to a victim assistance coordinator, she said her husband felt threatened by a conversation she had with a female friend immediately before the incident, and that she hoped to work things out with him.