Clayton board member pleads not guilty to domestic violence

A Clayton County school board pleaded not guilty Monday to charges she assaulted her live-in boyfriend.

Trinia Garrett was officially charged last month with domestic violence charges.

On Monday, Garrett pleaded not guilty to two counts of simple battery in State Court, Clayton County Solicitor General Tasha Mosley said. A jury trial has been scheduled for Oct. 15.

Garrett did not return a phone call Monday night.

Garrett, the district 7 representative, remains on the school board and attended a meeting Monday night.

Garrett’s boyfriend, Albert Stocken, also pleaded not guilty to two counts of simple battery.

Garrett, 36, is charged with intentionally making “physical contact of an insulting and provoking nature” against Stocken, according to State Court records. Prosecutors said Garrett grabbed a chain and pulled it from Stocken’s neck.

Stocken is charged with pushing Garrett.

“They were mutual combatants,” Mosley said.

The charges fall under the state’s family violence act, which requires mandatory counseling, Mosley said.

Garrett, 36, was arrested on April 21 after starting an altercation with her boyfriend over a credit card charge of $85 at a local hotel, according to Clayton County Magistrate court records. At the time, Garrett and Stocken, 58, had been living together for 18 months in Lake City.

She was booked in the Clayton jail and remains free on a $2,000 bond. The judge ordered her to have no contact with Stocken.

If convicted, the most each could receive is a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Mosley said she doesn’t expect either will serve jail time since they have no prior domestic violence convictions. She said they likely will receive community service and fines.

Garrett was elected in July 2008 to fill a vacant school board seat.