Judges are the judicial arm of the government and they are to uphold the laws of society to help maintain law and order.
Although judges know the consequences of breaking the law, some do break it regardless, so it is in the case of Lance Mason, who stabbed to death the mother of his children and ex-wife.
In November 2018, Mason stabbed his ex-wife, Aisha Fraser, 59 times in a wanton fury, ending her life in front of their two daughters.
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He has been sentenced to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after 35 years. His charges were aggravated murder, felonious assault, violating a protection order and grand auto theft to which he pleaded guilty.
Aisha met her untimely death when she dropped off one of her daughters at an apartment Mason shared with his sister in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Mason lay in wait for her and stabbed her with two kitchen knives till her life was snuffed out of her.
One of the girls ran frantically to Mason’s sister who was in the other room to report what had just happened and she called 911. To flee the scene of the crime and dodge an imminent arrest, Mason stole Aisha’s Audi SUV and as he sped off, he hit one of the police cruisers, wounding an officer, Cleveland.com reports.
The deceased’s 59 knife wounds included 12 to her hands that came from trying to block Mason’s cuts, records say. The attack ended in Mason slicing Fraser’s throat three times, investigators revealed.
After Mason’s colleagues recused themselves, retired Stark County Common Pleas Judge John G. Haas presided over the case in the same courthouse where Mason had been a judge for six years.
The Cuyahoga County prosecutors, Michael O’Malley’s and his assistant Anna Faraglia, wanted Judge Haas to hand Mason the strictest sentence to serve as a deterrent to others.
“Whether you live on 30th and Superior, or you’re somebody who lives in Shaker Heights and has a law degree from the University of Michigan, we are not going to treat you any differently,” Faraglia said.
According to AOL.com, Mason, now 52, had a stint with the law in 2014 that made him lose his licence at the bar. In August 2014, on returning from a dead relative’s funeral, the ex-judge, in front of his two kids, incessantly struck Aisha in the head, bit her face and smashed her head against the dashboard.
Aisha, after the attack, sort for a divorce and Mason was sentenced to 9 months in jail after he pleaded guilty to the attack. His former colleagues, who wrote letters vouching for him after the 2014 incident, did nothing of the sort for him this time around.
William Scandlin, a Shaker Heights teacher who taught alongside Aisha, told Judge Haas that Mason was not remorseful as he claimed during his earlier stint with the law that led him to prison.
“Within three years he proved to all of the attorneys and clergymen who had vouched for him, that he was in fact the vicious, and selfish person he had showed himself to be when he smashed Aisha’s face into seven pieces,” Scandlin said. “The proof was fatal for Aisha, and deeply traumatic for her daughters. Please do not let this same mistake play out again.”
Millicent Fraser, the deceased’s mother, said to Mason: “You’re a vicious liar with no remorse other than the fact that you ruined your own career.
“What a monster you are.”
Aisha’s family and friends crowded the courthouse, hoping to see Mason receive the worst punishment under the law because his 10-minute speech in court did not move them.
According to Cleaveland.com, Mason, in a bid to justify his actions, said his intentions were to protect his daughters from sexual predators because, in his adult life, he realised some of his relatives were sexually abused and he found out too late.
He claimed that he also didn’t want his daughters around Aisha’s boyfriend at the time of his release from his 9-month sentence.
He said, “I recognize I failed my daughters.” He hesitated, then corrected himself. “Our daughters.”
Judge Haas gave a breakdown of the sentence, saying that though Mason has been sentenced to life in prison, he gets a chance at parole. This is after he has served 30 years for the murder of his ex-wife and 5 years for stealing the SUV and injuring an officer in the process.