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Former Judge Lance Mason Charged With Wife's Murder

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Cuyahoga County Justice Center
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Cuyahoga County Justice Center

A Cuyahoga County grand jury has indicted ex-judge Lance Mason on charges of aggravated murder in the fatal stabbing of his estranged wife, Shaker Heights teacher Aisha Fraser.

County prosecutor Michael O’Malley filed the charges in common pleas court on Thursday. Prosecutors also charged Mason with murder, two counts of felonious assault, violating a protection order and grand theft.

Shaker Heights police arrested Mason on November 17 after responding to a 911 call from a home in the city. His sister told a dispatcher that Mason had attacked Fraser, according to tape of the call.

In a news release, O’Malley’s office said that Mason confronted Fraser after she arrived at the house with their two children, who are eight and 11 years old.

Fraser, 45, was a teacher in the Shaker Heights schools. Hundreds of people attended a vigil last week to mourn her death.

“Aisha Fraser was viciously and cruelly taken from her children by Lance Mason’s cowardly and selfish act,” O’Malley said in the release. “He stole a loving mother from her children and took an exceptional teacher, neighbor, and role model from the Shaker Heights community. He will be held accountable for his barbaric act.”

Police previously charged Mason with felonious assault, saying he rammed a police cruiser and injured an office while trying to flee the scene. In charging Mason with grand theft, the indictment accuses him of using Fraser’s Audi SUV to try to get away.

Mason served nine months of a two-year prison sentence for physically assaulting Fraser in 2014. As a condition of Mason’s release, visiting Judge Patricia Cosgrove prohibited him from any contact with Fraser.

Mason, a former Democratic state lawmaker, served as a common pleas judge from 2008 to 2015. He resigned from the bench after pleading guilty to attempted felonious assault and domestic violence.

After Mason’s release from prison in 2016, the Ohio Board of Professional Conduct sought to have him disbarred. Numerous people wrote in support of Mason as he fought the revocation of his law license.

The city of Cleveland hired Mason in 2017 to work on minority business development. He was fired shortly after his arrest this month.