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Former Cuyahoga County judge Lance Mason due in court Thursday; faces aggravated murder charges in ex-wife's killing

Mason is accused of killing his ex-wife last November.

CLEVELAND — Former Cuyahoga County judge Lance Mason is scheduled for a pretrial court appearance Thursday on charges stemming from his ex-wife's murder.

Mason is accused of killing Aisha Fraser outside a Chagrin Boulevard home in November. 

Sources told WKYC that Fraser's body was found in the driveway and that she was at the home to drop off the couple's children for a visitation. Fraser reportedly owned the home and was allowing Mason's sister to live there.

Police say Mason allegedly stabbed Fraser to death before he tried to flee the scene in her car.

Mason rammed the stolen vehicle into a police cruiser, causing injuries to an officer. Mason was also hospitalized after he was apprehended.

A grand jury indicted Mason on aggravated murder charges Nov. 29 and prosecutors said they will not pursue the death penalty in the case. The harshest sentence Mason faces is life in prison without parole. He pleaded not guilty to the charges Dec. 4.

RELATED: Former Cuyahoga County Judge Lance Mason pleads not guilty to murder charges in death of ex-wife

It wasn't the first time Mason acted violently toward Fraser, who was a beloved Shaker Heights teacher.

Mason pleaded guilty in 2015 to attempted felonious assault and domestic violence and served nine months in prison after he punched his wife 20 times and slammed her head against a car dashboard five times as they drove with their children. His wife’s injuries required reconstructive surgery. According to court documents, his wife sued him in civil court and was awarded a $150,000 judgment. 

Mason, who was also a former state representative and state senator, was removed from his judge seat roughly a month after the Aug. 2014 incident. His status as a convicted felon prohibits him from serving as an Ohio judge in the future, and the Ohio Supreme Court has also indefinitely prohibited him from practicing law.

Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson hired Mason in 2017 to serve as the city’s director of minority business administrator. The city fired Mason the day of his November 2018 arrest.

RELATED: Exclusive: Judge said Aisha Fraser was financially stressed, didn't oppose husband's release

RELATED: Mayor Frank Jackson defends hiring of Lance Mason, refuses to apologize