Ex-Judge Who Spent 9 Months In Prison For Beating Wife Is Arrested After She's Killed
In 2014, an Ohio county Judge Lance Mason punched his wife 20 times, repeatedly slamming her head against his car's dashboard and breaking a bone in her skull — all of it in front of their children.
Mason served nine months in prison for beating Aisha Fraser and was hired by the Cleveland mayor's office after his release. On Saturday, Mason was arrested again, this time after his wife was found fatally stabbed in her home in the Shaker Heights suburb of Cleveland, with her children nearby.
In a 911 call on Saturday, as reported by member station WCPN ideastream, Mason's sister reported the killing and told the dispatcher that her brother did it.
As police arrived on the scene, Mason reportedly attempted to flee in a car. He crashed into a police vehicle and sent an officer to the hospital with serious injuries.
He has been charged with felonious assault resulting from the crash but not in Fraser's killing.
Mason was a member of the Ohio Senate from 2007 to 2008 and served as assistant minority whip. He was also a state representative from 2002 to 2006.
He pleaded guilty to attempted felonious assault and domestic violence in 2015 over the assault the previous year and was sentenced to two years in prison. However, he was granted early release after just nine months.
As part of his petition for that release, Mason reportedly wrote Fraser an apology, according to Cleveland.com.
"He was a good judge and a friend, but he owes society this time," then-Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty, who did not prosecute the case, reportedly said after Mason's sentencing. "I am confident he will leave prison rehabilitated and will again be an asset to our community."
As Cleveland.com reports, police searched his home after the 2014 assault and found an array of weapons, including 2,500 rounds of ammunition, a bulletproof vest, smoke grenades, semi-automatic rifles and a sword.
The 2014 attack on Fraser was so brutal that she reportedly required facial reconstructive surgery. She filed for divorce two days after the incident, but the divorce had yet to be finalized when she died on Saturday.
Fraser also reportedly sued Mason in civil court and was awarded $150,000.
The Ohio Supreme Court suspended Mason's law license indefinitely in December 2017.
Cleveland.com reports that after his release, Mason was hired by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson's administration as a minority business development director. He was fired from that post after his arrest over the weekend.
"The decision by Mayor Frank Jackson's administration to give Mason a job after Mason's early release from prison on wife-beating charges is an astounding snub," Mark Naymik of Cleveland.com wrote.
Fraser was a teacher in the Shaker Heights School District for over 15 years and was a sixth-grade teacher at Woodbury Elementary School at the time of her killing.
Woodbury Principal Danny Young called her "kind, loving, compassionate, dedicated and an amazing mother — with a wonderful sense of humor."
"We have lost an angel, as well as a phenomenal educator," he said.
The Shaker Heights Teachers' Association has set up a GoFundMe to support Fraser's two children.