Man who killed Iowa State Patrol Sergeant gets sentenced to life in prison

Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 5:59 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -Dozens of law enforcement lined a Grundy County courtroom Monday for the sentencing of Michael Lang. A jury convicted Lang of First Degree Murder last month for shooting and killing Sergeant Jim Smith in 2021. Smith was a 27 year veteran of the Iowa State Patrol.

“Jim was a true blessing,” his mother said through a spokesperson during a victim impact statement read in court.

Sgt. Smith’s sister Michelle spoke next, talking directly to Michael Lang.

“I am here to tell you that you may have taken my brothers life that day, but you won’t and you can not take his soul,” she said.

Sgt. Smith’s daughter Jazlyn told Lang her time with her father was cut too short.

“Dad was supposed to be there to watch me graduate and move me into the college that we prayed I could go to. He was supposed interview my first boyfriend and walk me down the aisle. He should be here when my brother and I start our own families,” she said.

Smith’s family called him a man of God and said he was the spiritual leader of their household. Sgt. Smith’s wife Kathy said the loss of her husband has left her with a deeper grief than she’s ever known.

“I feel robbed. We were supposed to grow old together. I am now forced to live out the rest of my days without him and I do truly feel lost. In my mind this wasn’t supposed to be this way, but I know God has a plan 14:34:19 and will use this horrible tragedy to further his kingdom. Jim was my soulmate,” said Kathy.

Sgt. Smith’s son Zander was the last to speak. He said his father was his best buddy, and he told Lang he’s trying to forgive him.

“My dad would agree that Jesus is the hero that we need. His level of mercy is beyond our comprehension. God loves you. And just as my dad lived out, each of you deserves to have the chance to accept it. And that includes Mr. Lang,” Zander said.

Lang was given the maximum sentence on all charges and will spend the rest of his life in prison with no chance at parole.

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