Disgraced Cleveland area judge accused of fatally stabbing estranged wife
Despite having been in a powerful local judicial position, Lance Mason also had a violent history with his wife, which ended in homicide
A former Ohio judge who already spent nine months in jail for beating his wife in front of their children, is now being accused of fatally stabbing her Saturday morning.
According to Cleveland.com, Lance Mason, 51, who had served as Cuyahoga County’s common pleas judge, was arrested at his Shaker Heights, Ohio residence this weekend on suspicion of murder, after police found his estranged wife, Aisha Fraser Mason, 45, dead on their driveway.
Initially authorities noted that the address where the stabbing occurred was suspiciously close to where a Shaker Heights police officer was hit by a car fleeing a domestic violence incident. The officer, who was in his police cruiser at the time of the accident, was later taken to the hospital although his condition is still unknown.
According to Slate.com, Mason has been confirmed as the driver involved in that crash and reportedly tried to kill himself after getting into the collision.
In 2014, Mason was arrested after repeatedly punching Fraser in the head while the couple was driving home from a funeral. He allegedly also bit her face, and slammed her head against the dashboard and window, until she attempted to flee from the vehicle. Unfortunately, Mason dragged her to the ground before she was able to run away and beat her again. Then he jumped back into his car and drove off.
Fraser eventually flagged down a passing car to get a ride to the hospital. Once she was safe, she called 911 to tell dispatchers that her daughters — ages 6 and 4 — were inside the car during the assault, and that she feared her husband would hurt them in her absence.
In 2015 Mason pleaded guilty to the assault, but the court ruled that it believed the judge was genuinely remorseful. He was disallowed from serving on the bench as a convicted felon, but was later appointed Cleveland’s minority business administrator after his prison term. The city terminated his employment after his arrest last weekend, according to WOIO.
“I think this would be an example of sometimes how good people make bad decisions or do bad things,” the prosecutor said at the time of the sentencing. Fraser filed for divorce shortly thereafter, but the paperwork had not been finalized at the time of her death.