Judge selected to hear Augusta Commissioner's case

Burke County judge chosen to preside
Mason

Burke County State Court Judge Jerry Daniel has been selected to preside over Augusta Commission member Alvin Mason’s trial on domestic violence charges.

Daniel was appointed to hear the case by Tift County State Court Judge Larry Mims, the president of the Georgia Council of State Court Judges, according to a recent court filing.

The District 4 commissioner was arrested Dec. 27, four days after his wife told authorities he grabbed her by the neck and pushed her against a wall during an argument at their Hephzibah home.

Richmond County State Court prosecutors and judges recused themselves from the case, citing a need to avoid “the appearance of impropriety.” The commission sets the budget for State Court.

Mason pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of simple battery and simple assault in March.

His attorney, Republican sheriff candidate Freddie Sanders, indicated that his client was ready for trial in May but later withdrew his motion for a speedy trial, citing a need for more time. Mason’s mother, daughter, son and ex-wife are potential defense witnesses, as are state Rep. Earnest Smith, D-Augusta, and Commissioner Bill Lockett, according to court filings.

Richmond County State Court Admin­istrator Jan Hardy said Mason’s case could be placed on the State Court criminal trial calendar the week of July 21 or Aug. 20.

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