On Saturday, disgraced judge Lance Mason was arrested after Aisha Fraser, his ex-wife, was found stabbed to death in her Shaker Heights, Ohio home just outside Cleveland, NPR reports.
According to a 911 call obtained by local public radio station WOSU, Mason’s sister told police on Monday that Mason had killed Fraser. She added that their two daughters were with her at the time of the homicide.
Mason has been charged with felonious assault—he collided with a police cruiser and sent an officer to the hospital with rib injuries after attempting to flee the scene of the crime.
He has not yet been charged in Fraser’s killing.
In 2014, Mason served nine months in prison for assaulting Fraser—he punched her 20 times, slammed her head into a dashboard, and broke a bone in her skull. Upon release, he was soon hired by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s office who, in 2017, stood by the decision to hire a domestic abuser. “No one condones Mr. Mason’s crime. But he pled guilty, lost his law license and position as judge, and he served his time,” he said in a statement. “Our community benefits if ex-offenders can find work and turn their lives around.” He was promptly fired after his arrest this week.
Following Fraser’s murder and Mason’s arrest, the Shaker Heights police department released the following statement:
“Today’s charge is the first of this investigation, and was brought in order to meet certain legal time constraints. Additional criminal charges will be brought against Lance Mason relating to the death of Aisha Fraser.”
According to Cleveland.com, hundreds of Shaker Heights community members gathered on the lawn of Woodbury Elementary School Monday evening, where Fraser worked and was beloved. Principal Danny Young described her as “kind, loving, compassionate, dedicated and an amazing mother — with a wonderful sense of humor...we have lost an angel, as well as a phenomenal educator.” Over the speakers, her favorite song—Lauryn Hill’s “His Eye Is On The Sparrow”—played overhead.
It has felt like a particularly harrowing week for the few domestic violence cases that make national news: Mason’s arrest took place just hours after Christopher Watts was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole for the murder of his pregnant wife, Shanann, and two young daughters.