Garrett to appeal his conviction

by Chris Bridges - the walton tribune

Former Monroe City Councilman was sentenced to 36 months with 60 days to be served in jail

Former Monroe City Councilman Norman Garrett was sentenced to 36 months on probation with 60 days to be served in confinement following last week’s guilty verdicts by a local jury. Garrett was in curt regarding his interactions with Monroe police officers in 2022.

However, according to Alcovy Judicial Circuit District Attorney Randy McGinley, Garrett’s sentence would be suspended should he choose to appeal.

McGinley said Garrett has chosen to appeal his sentence.

Norman Garrett

“Mr. Garrett was booked in the day of the conviction, May 9. An Order granting a Supersedeas bond was granted May 10 and he bonded out that day,” McGarrett said, adding that a Supersedeas bond is technically an appeal.

Garrett was defeated in his re-election bid last year by current Monroe City Councilwoman Adriane Brown.

Garrett was charged in two different cases, which were joined for trial. The jury found Garrett guilty of all charges in both cases including one count of obstruction of an officer, two counts of affixing a license plate to conceal identity, two counts of failure to maintain brake lights in working condition, two counts of expired tag and failure to wear safety seat belt. 

The charges were from two separate incidents on April 8, 2022. Around 9 a.m., Garrett was driving his 1991 Chevrolet truck on Spring Street when a City of MPD officer saw that the truck had no working brake lights. 

The officer also could not see the tag well enough to provide the tag number to dispatch due to the tag being obstructed and damaged. A traffic stop was conducted at the Marathon at the corner of Spring and Pinecrest.

After both vehicles stopped, the officer approached the vehicle to let the defendant know why he stopped him. The officer was told by dispatch that the tag was not valid and that it was showing being stolen. Due to this, the officer asked Garrett to step out of the vehicle, and decided to detain Garrett while he investigated the tag issue.

Garrett reportedly then refused to comply with the officers lawful commands and began to physically resist the officer. This was seen by civilian witnesses, including one that was about to call 911 to get help for the officer, but did not because another officer arrived on scene. Garrett was eventually arrested and taken to the jail. It was later determined that the tag was not stolen, but was invalid and expired.

Officers gave him the courtesy of allowing someone to come get his truck and did not impound it. Garrett was booked in and booked out of the jail that same day. Then, around 6 p.m. that afternoon, Garrett was again driving the same truck with no working  brake lights, with an invalid and expired tag and while not wearing his seatbelt. 

Another officer observed the truck and conducted a traffic stop. Citations were issued for multiple traffic offenses.

The jury also heard from other officers about three prior traffic stops in just the last year where Garrett was driving the same truck.

After the guilty verdicts, Garrett was sentenced to 36 months on probation with the first 60 days in jail. By law, due to the charges, Garrett was entitled to be granted an appeal bond. Therefore, if Garrett requests an appeal, he can be released from custody and the sentence is essentially placed on hold until the appeal is concluded. The Court also made it a special condition of probation that Garrett not violate traffic laws. If he does, the balance of his sentence could be revoked to jail.

The case was tried by District Attorney Randy McGinley and Chief Investigator Josh Chambers.

“I wanted to thank all the officers involved for their hard work and their commitment to the city of Monroe,” McGinley said.” I also want to thank the citizen witnesses and those with the Tax Commissioners Office that testified at trial. This case demonstrates that no one should believe or act like they are above the law.” DA Randy McGinley.

Sharon Swanepoel contributed to this story.

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