An Ohio judge who served nine months in prison for viciously assaulting his ex-wife in front of their kids in 2014 has been arrested for allegedly stabbing her to death.
Former Cuyahoga County judge Lance Mason was arrested on Saturday after the body of his ex-wife, Aisha Fraser, was found in her home in Shaker Heights, Ohio, the local police department said in a release.
Mason may have tried to kill himself before attempting to flee the scene, ramming his car into a police cruiser in the process, NBC affiliate WCMH-TV reported.
In 2014, Mason punched his then-wife 20 times and slammed her head against a car dashboard five times while their children were in the car, police said. He then continued to beat, bite and threaten her after she got out of the car.
His wife broke her orbital bone in the attack and needed facial reconstructive surgery, according to Cleveland.com. She filed for divorce days later.
Police searched Mason’s home and found an arsenal of weapons including handguns, shotguns, semi-automatic rifles, smoke grenades and a sword, Cleveland.com reported at the time.
According to CBS affiliate WOIO, a victim impact statement read out in court revealed that Fraser had been pleading with Mason to go to counselling for two years.
However, the prosecutor in the case said Mason’s actions “would be an example of sometimes how good people make bad decisions or do bad things.”
It was also stated in court that Fraser had been pleading with Mason to see a counselor for two years.
Mason pleaded guilty to assault and domestic violence and served nine months in prison.
However, less than a year after he got out of prison, Mason was hired by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson as the city’s director of minority business administration.
The mayor hand-picked Mason out of 13 candidates, WKYC 3 reported, adding that the former judge had close ties to Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge, who is currently challenging Nancy Pelosi in the race to be the speaker of the House of Representatives.
Mason previously served in the Ohio senate and Ohio house of representatives as a Democrat.
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On Saturday evening, the City of Cleveland issued a statement offering condolences to Fraser’s family and children and stating that Lance Mason was terminated “effective immediately.”
Fraser was a sixth-grade teacher in the Shaker Heights school system.
The district said it would close all school buildings Monday and Tuesday and offer counselling to students, teachers and their families.
“Aisha was a devoted mother and a longtime, committed teacher to Woodbury students. She touched so many of our children’s lives and will be deeply missed,” Shaker Heights Schools said in a statement on its website.
“Her loss is unexpected and the impact of this news on our entire school community is unimaginable and profound.”
The local teachers’ association set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to support Fraser’s children. The campaign had raised over $50,000 as of early Saturday evening.
The GoFundMe page was filled with comments paying tribute to Fraser.
“Ms. Fraser was one of my favourite and most memorable teachers growing up. I wish the best to her girls,” read one comment.
“Aisha, I just spoke to you and hugged you in D.C.,” read another comment.
“You are not the slain Shaker Heights teacher. You are a beautiful and intelligent soul that was taken from us and we are all better because we had you in our lives!”
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