Michael Lang Sentenced To Life For Murdering Iowa State Patrol Sergeant

Photo: KGAN-Iowa's News Now

A Hamilton County judge denied a motion for a new trial in the case of Michael Lang Monday, and then handed down a mandatory life sentence for Lang, who was convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Iowa State Patrol Sergeant Jim Smith.

When it came to deciding on a new trial for Lang, Judge Joel Dalrymple ruled the greater amount of credible evidence supports the jury's findings that Lang's actions were premeditated, and with the malice of forethought in the killing of Smith. Dalrymple said, "In the court's position, this isn't even a close call."

The judge also ordered Lang to pay $150,000 to Smith's widow, although he acknowledged Lang would be unlikely to be able to pay it.

Victims shared their impact statements with the court before the official sentencing came down, although the judge said they could not be taken into consideration for Lang's sentencing under Iowa law.

Sgt. Smith's wife, Katherine, was among those who took the stand Monday.

"I didn't blame God for what happened. Evil people do evil things. I only blame this man. Not his parents or his family or any officers who were there that night. Just him. He must have consequence for taking Jim's life...and I am thankful that he will spend the rest of his life in prison. This man who clearly hates law enforcement..who laughed about killing my husband..won't be able to hurt anyone else....and for that I am grateful."

The judge confirmed Lang's mandatory life sentence for the first-degree murder charge.

For the attempted murder conviction, Lang was ordered to pay a $1,025 fine and serve at least 70% of a 25-year-sentence before parole eligibility.

Lang was also ordered to serve five years for his conviction on assaulting a peace officer, and informed he's now forever be prohibited from possessing a firearm.

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