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Former Judge Lance Mason Sentenced To Life In Prison For Murder

Lance Mason at his sentencing hearing on Thursday.
Lisa Ryan
Lance Mason at his sentencing hearing on Thursday.

Former Cuyahoga County judge Lance Mason will serve life in prison with the possibility of parole in 35 years. He was sentenced Thursday for the murder of his ex-wife Aisha Fraser.

Mason stabbed Fraser, an elementary school teacher, on November 17, 2018, outside a home in Shaker Heights. Their two young daughters were nearby, and one witnessed the attack.

In court Thursday, Fraser's godmother Irene Crowell asked the judge for the maximum sentence without the possibility of parole.

"Why should he have hope? There's no hope for Aisha, her parents, her friends, her loved ones. We're trying to make sure there's some hope for her daughters," said Crowell.

Mason received a life sentence for aggravated murder along with five years for assaulting an officer, which happened as he attempted to escape. The sentence will be served concurrently with a 24-month sentence for violating a protection order and a 12-month sentence for stealing a car.

The children's godmother Stacie Crowell says Fraser feared for her life and asked Crowell to take care of her daughters if anything happened to her. Crowell and her husband Michael are now the girls' guardians.

“I was a little upset that it didn’t turn out the way we anticipated, but right now my focus, my husband and I, our focus, needs to be on making sure Audrey and Ava are taken care of and that they grow up in a way that their mother would want to have seen them grow up,” Crowell said.

Fraser’s mom Millicent Fraser called Mason a monster in court.

“If you’re going to be in the law, you should follow the law,” Fraser said, speaking about Mason’s time as a Cuyahoga County judge.

He resigned his judgeship in 2015 after pleading guilty to beating Aisha Fraser. She needed reconstructive surgery on her face, and Mason was sentenced to 24 months in prison. He served nine months of that sentence before his release and was later hired by Cleveland as the city’s Minority Business Development Administrator.

Fraser's family and friends are trying to pass "Aisha's Law," which they say would help better protect victims of domestic violence. However, it's received some criticism from the Ohio Public Defender's Office.