Aisha Fraser Mason was stabbed to death in her home in Shaker Heights. Who could have seen this coming? Well, anyone who cared to look.
Mason in August 2014 punched his then-wife 20 times and slammed her head against the dashboard of his car five times, breaking her orbital bone.
The couple’s children were in the back of the car when the attack occurred.
At the time, Lance Mason was called “judge.” Before that, he served in the state legislature. After his release from prison, serving nine months of a two year sentence, he was hired by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson as a minority business development director. Not only did he hold positions of trust and power before and after, but he held them despite the harm he inflicted on his wife and children and the indicia of other “issues” that arose following his arrest for the brutal beating.
Mason drove home after the attack. A family member reported to Cleveland police that he might attempt suicide, but Mason surrendered. Officers searching his home at the time found smoke grenades, semi-automatic rifles, a sword, a bulletproof vest and more than 2,500 rounds of ammunition from the home.
That’s a curious cache of weaponry for a judge, or even a state legislator. Following the beating of his wife, an act of such brutal outrage that it seems inconceivable that no one added up the numbers and concluded that this was a deeply troubled guy who had impulse control and anger issues that demanded address.
Yet, his sentence of two years for the beating, itself a surprisingly lenient sentence, was cut short when he obtained early release after writing the typical endearing letter of apology.
He was granted judicial release nine months later. Part of his petition for early release included a letter to Fraser Mason in which he apologized to her, asked for her forgiveness and said he deeply regretted what happened.
Mason wrote that he “failed as a husband, father, and a man,” and promised that once he realized he was “broken” he became a better father and man, the letter said.
“My responsibility was to love and protect you,” Mason’s letter said. “Instead of loving, protecting and providing for you and our daughters, I have provided a terrible example, and exposed you to rage and violence.”
That’s all very sweet, but so what? Is it possible the seething fury waiting to erupt was never noticed when he was on the bench? When he sat in the legisalture’s chamber? Well, it’s possible, but the cache of weapons suggests that there were clue, indications, that this was a guy waiting to explode. This was a guy who might do harm to others. As it turned out, that’s exactly what he did.
And yet, once he did, once he brutally beat his wife, he not only got cut a break for his insipid confession of failure, but he was taken back into the fold when the mayor handed him another government job. Who does he have to murder before anyone sees that this is a deeply troubled guy, a person who should never be put in a position of power over others, a person who does not deserve to be on the government teat, even when it’s Cleveland?
Aisha Fraser Mason. That’s who.
How no one saw this coming is beyond comprehension. The writing was on the wall, everywhere, and while the letter was nice if standard, it failed to conceal what should have been obvious to everyone. This was a guy with severe issues who should not have been in a position to do harm.
Yet he was, and his almost-ex-wife is dead because of it.