Law enforcement witnesses give bulk of testimony in second day of trial for man accused of killing Sgt. Jim Smith

Michael Lang listens to day two of testimony in his murder trial. Lang is accused of killing...
Michael Lang listens to day two of testimony in his murder trial. Lang is accused of killing Sgt. Jim Smith.(KCRG)
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 4:46 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -The bulk of testimony Wednesday in the trial of the man accused of killing Sgt. Jim Smith came from law enforcement who were there the night he was killed.

Michael Lang is accused of shooting and killing Sgt. Smith last April. Police say Lang barricaded himself in his home after assaulting a police officer during a traffic stop. Sgt. Smith was shot while trying to retrieve Lang from his house in Grundy Center. Lang’s trial is taking place in Hamilton County where it was moved due to pretrial publicity.

Former Grundy County Deputy Zachary Andersen was first on the witness stand for day two of testimony. He was emotional describing the moment he watched Sgt. Smith fall to the ground.

Andersen said he could hear Lang yelling from his home after the shooting.

”He said something to the effect of come in and start shooting. And at one point he said something to the effect of I’ll kill you like I killed your buddy,” he recalled.

The jury later heard from a trooper who physically pulled Sgt. Smith’s body from the area where he had been shot. Trooper Matthew Lively said he tried calling for Smith at first, but he was unresponsive as he shouted his name.

“I was yelling out loud Jim, Jim, you know trying to get some sort of response. And when he was unresponsive then I took it upon myself to make my way over from my location to where Jim was to at least get him out of line of sight from this doorway because in my mind this is where the threat is going to be or come from,” he explained.

We also heard testimony from two Troopers who were in Lang’s basement when the shooting happened. They said they could hear him shouting that if they were still downstairs by morning he would come down and shoot them.

Officers who were inside the BearCat that was eventually used to ram Lang’s house and ultimately bring him into custody testified as well. The driver said Lang shot at the windshield which would have hit him if the bullet would have made it through the glass.

Witness testimony concluded Wednesday afternoon after evidence was shown, such as Sgt. Smith’s uniform he was wearing when he died and the gun Lang is accused of using in the crime.

The trial will continue Thursday morning.

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