CLEVELAND -- Making his first court appearance since his arrest, former Cuyahoga County Judge Lance Mason pleaded not guilty to murder charges in the death of his ex-wife.

Mason was arraigned Tuesday afternoon, just days after he was officially charged in the stabbing death of Aisha Fraser. He is charged with aggravated murder, murder and felonious assault among other charges. Bond was issued at $5 million.

Prosecutors said they have decided not to pursue the death penalty, meaning the harshest sentence Mason faces is life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Mason, who was removed from his judge seat in 2014 and later served nine months in jail for brutally assaulting Fraser, is accused of stabbing Fraser multiple times back on Nov. 17 before leaving her body in the driveway of a Shaker Heights home. He also allegedly slammed into a police cruiser while attempting to flee the scene, leaving an officer injured.

Fraser was a teacher in the Shaker Heights school district.

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Up until the death of his ex-wife, Mason was employed by the city of Cleveland as director of minority business administration. He was fired from that position the night of the incident, but while Mayor Frank G. Jackson sent his condolences to Fraser's family, he refused to apologize for hiring Mason in spite of his violent past.

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