Adoring teacher, loving mother Aisha M. Fraser slain
Her former husband and Judge suspected of her death
The chilling 911 call was place by suspected murder Lance Mason’s sister Lynn Mason on Saturday Nov. 17th as she described to Shaker Heights police that her brother was attacking his ex-wife.
"He stabbed her, and she is dead," Lynn Mason told dispatch as the former couple’s children could be heard sobbing in the background.
Shaker Heights police rushed to the 17000 block of Chagrin Blvd in Shaker Heights to arrest Mason, a former Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge in connection with the death of his ex-wife Aisha M. Fraser at her home.
However as police arrived, Lance Mason attempted to flee in his Audi SUV, subsequently injuring an officer who suffered serious injuries to his lower legs and ribs, according to court documents. The officer was hospitalized.
Mason, 51, was arrested and taken to a hospital after he crashed into a police cruiser. He has since been charged with felonious assault of the officer, while the evidence is gathered in the potential filing for the fatal death of his ex-wife.
The tragic death of Fraser caps a long and chronicled history of domestic violence by Mason, and court records reveal a brutal pattern of domestic violence against his ex-wife and child endangerment against his children.
On Aug. 26, 2014, Mason was indicted on multiple charges, including felonious assault, domestic violence, kidnapping and endangering children, according to court records.
The same day the Ohio Supreme Court issued an order disqualifying him from serving as a judge.
Mason was sentenced on Sept. 26, 2015, to two years at the Lorain Correctional Institution and six months in county jail, but he was given judicial release after having served nine months, court documents said.
Mason’s ex-wife was awarded $150,000 in a civil lawsuit she filed against him, according to court records.
Police statements document how Mason viciously choked, punched and bit Fraser. It happened inside a vehicle in Shaker Heights and was witnessed by the couple’s two daughters. He was sentenced to two years in prison but was released after serving less than a year.
Fraser filed for divorce two days after the attack. Their divorce was finalized on Nov. 12, 2015.
As part of his judicial release from prison after the 2014 beating, Mason had probation requirements in place.
Because he was a former Cuyahoga County judge, to avoid any potential conflict of interest, Lorain County Adult Probation conducted "courtesy supervision" in Mason's case for Cuyahoga County, according to a court administrator.
In June of 2016, Mason's case was assigned to a deputy chief probation officer who supervised him.
The administrator said Mason did not violate his probation at any point and reported to every assigned office visit monthly, and later bi-monthly due to compliance. He was also tested negative for drug use each visit.
In addition, he completed his anger management course, the administrator said.
His last probation visit was Nov. 5, and before his ex-wife's death, the conditions and restrictions -- including a no contact order -- were still in place.
Mason was required to complete probation through 2021.
He was employed a member of Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson administration, but the mayor immediately terminated him following his arrest.
On Monday Nov. 19 a shocked and sadden community held a candle light vigil at Woodbury Elementary School as hundreds honored Fraser ,44, remembering her as a loving mother to two children ages 8 and 11 she shared with Mason.
The Shaker High School Choir sang Amazing Grace; her Pastor Chip Freed of Garfield Memorial offered a solemn opening prayer; Shaker Heights Teacher’s Association President Dr. John Morris showered Fraser with praise, many of her Woodbury colleagues spoke glowingly of her, as did he Shaker Heights classmates from 1991 Monty Johnson and Beth Portner.
Among the more profound moments was the reading of a poem by one of her Woodbury students ‘When Great Trees Fall’ by Maya Angelou.
When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down in tall grasses,
and even elephants lumber after safety.
When great trees fall in forests, small things recoil into silence,
their senses eroded beyond fear.
When great souls die,
the air around us becomes light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines, gnaws on kind words unsaid,
promised walks never taken.
Great souls die and our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls, dependent upon their nurture,
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their radiance,
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold caves.
And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly.
Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be better.
For they existed.