SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio – A disgraced former Ohio judge was arrested Saturday. The ex-jurist is accused of stabbing his wife to death at her home. This comes two years after he served time in prison for a brutal attack on her that was witnessed by his daughters and required reconstructive surgery.
The Shaker Heights Police Department said in a statement former judge Lance Mason, 51, was taken into custody Saturday in connection with the death of his estranged wife, Aisha Fraser, 45. Formal charges are pending.
Authorities had responded to a domestic violence call involving Mason at the home just after 9 a.m. Saturday, FOX8 reported.
After stabbing Fraser, Mason fled the scene and crashed his car into a police cruiser before being arrested, officials told Cleveland.com. An officer sustained injuries in the crash and had to be taken to a hospital. While the officer’s life does not appear to be in danger, the severity of injuries were undisclosed.
BREAKING: Sources tell me former Judge Lance Mason is accused of fatally stabbing his estranged wife. A Shaker Heights Police officer was injured during the incident. Details here: https://t.co/fc5VBpV5v8
— Sia Nyorkor (@TVNewsLady) November 17, 2018
The 51-year-old disgraced former Ohio judge previously pleaded guilty to charges of domestic violence and attempted felonious assault for attacking his then-wife in 2014. In that incident, police said Mason viciously choked, punched 20 times, slammed and even bit his wife in front of his two daughters, according to FOX8.
Fraser was so severely injured in the assault she needed reconstructive surgery on her face. She filed for divorce two days after the incident, Cleveland.com reported. It was unclear if the divorce was finalized.
Mason, who previously served in the state legislature, was a sitting Cuyahoga County judge when the attack happened.
Mason was barred by law from ever being a judge again.
Fraser also won a $150,000 judgement in a civil case after suing Mason for damages after the attack.
Lance Mason previously served nine months in prison after pleading guilty to violently assaulting Aisha Fraser in front of their children in 2014.https://t.co/4WOhcLUxwh
— Globalnews.ca (@globalnews) November 18, 2018
Mason was sentenced to two years in prison, but was only behind bars from Sept. 2015 to June 2016 before being released. He then ended up being hired as Minority Business Development Administrator in Cleveland’s Office of Equal Opportunity, beating out 15 other candidates for the $45,000-per-year job.
This is such a tragedy. Still hard to believe that Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson gave Lance Mason a job despite his ugly history of spousal abuse. https://t.co/jdWa0QhR6K
— Henry J. Gomez (@HenryJGomez) November 17, 2018
At the time of his hiring, city officials told FOX8 that Mason was “simply the most qualified candidate for this position,” and that his application did not include a criminal record. In 2011, Cleveland eliminated a box on its job applications to be checked by those convicted of crimes. He was terminated from the job on Saturday after he was taken into custody, FOX8 reported.
His estranged wife was a 6th grade teacher at Woodbury Elementary School in Shaker Heights. Moreover, the news of her death drew an outpouring of grief from the community. The superintendent of the Shaker Heights City School District, Dr. Stephen Wilkins, called the killing a “difficult time” for the community.
“Aisha was a devoted mother and a longtime committed teacher to Woodbury students,” Wilkins said in a statement. “She touched so many of our children’s lives and will be deeply missed. Her loss is unexpected and the impact of this news on our entire school community is unimaginable and profound.”
Friends and colleagues echoed the sentiments about Fraser’s impacts on the community.
“Aisha had this special connection with every kid and I felt like she was a mother to everyone and anyone,” Brytnee Crenshaw told FOX8. “She was so special. She was never down. She was always so happy and cheerful and I feel like we lost a great person.”
Woodbury and the Shaker community suffered a tragic loss of a beloved colleague today. Aisha Fraser’s family, peers, students and friends all grieve her loss. Please keep her daughters in your thoughts and prayers.????
— Shaker Raiders (@raidersofshaker) November 17, 2018
A candlelight vigil is set to be held in her memory on Monday night at the school where she taught.