CLEVELAND- Only the FOX 8 I-Team had a camera rolling Thursday as former judge Lance Mason went to court for a brief hearing on charges he killed his ex-wife, and what he said led the judge on the case to get off the bench and walk over to him.
Mason said he couldn’t see the judge a few feet away.
Mason told Judge John Haas, “I can’t see you ’cause I don’t have glasses.” He added, “I have bi-focals.”
A defense attorney said Mason didn’t have glasses in jail, and lawyers are trying to work with family members to get him glasses.
So the judge on the case got up off the bench, walked over to Mason and asked, “Can you see me now?”
Meantime, watching from the back of the courtroom, the boyfriend of Aisha Fraser and her family. All of them there determined to make sure they see justice.
Police in Shaker Heights say Mason killed Aisha Fraser in front of their children.
Ronald Williams said, “I love Aisha. Her murder was heart-wrenching and traumatizing. We shouldn’t even be here.”
Mason did time in prison before for a vicious attack on Aisha Fraser. He got out of prison, got hired at Cleveland City Hall, and then he got arrested for the murder late last year.
Williams added, “I’m here to demand that the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court get it right this time. It will never bring her back, but having him put away will send a message.”
Ever since Lance Mason stepped into the county jail, he’s been held in what’s called protective custody. Kept in a cell by himself. Kept away from other inmates. He moves around the jail only under special guard. Jailers don’t want him running into any other inmates he may have punished when he was a judge.
Defense lawyers also complained Mason has been held under suicide watch unnecessarily.
Attorney Kevin Spellacy said, “He’s been cleared twice. That he doesn’t have suicidal thoughts.”
Defense lawyers say they are trying to work with the jail to get Mason off of suicide watch. They say he has been held in a cell 23 hours a day with only a blanket-type piece of clothing.
The court set a tentative trial date in June.
Mason has pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors and defense lawyers are just beginning to share evidence and other documents connected to the case.