Defense presents no evidence in trial of man accused of killing state trooper

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 4:49 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -The defense chose not to call a single witness in the trial of a man accused of killing Sgt. Jim Smith.

Michael Lang is charged with First Degree Murder. His case will soon be up to the jury.

The state called 16 witnesses in just a few days before resting its case at the Hamilton County Courthouse Thursday morning.

First on the stand Thursday was Michael Tate, a Criminalist who works at the DCI crime lab. He examined the 12-gauge shotgun prosecutors say Lang used to shoot Sergeant Smith. He compared shells found at the scene and said it was consistent with the gun. He also looked at shrapnel collected during Smith’s autopsy and said it was consistent with the shotgun shells.

The jury then heard from the State Medical Examiner who did Sergeant Smith’s autopsy. He said Smith died from a gunshot wound to the chest and said the manner of death was homicide.

The jury was sent home on a break until Monday when they’ll return for jury instructions.

Sgt. Smith’s family requested the break so that they could travel to Washington D.C. for National Police Week. Smith’s name has been added to a memorial there for officers killed in the line of duty. There is a candlelight vigil planned for Friday night.

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