Prosecution Rests In Michael Lang Trial

Statewide Iowa — The prosecution wrapped up its case around noon Thursday against the Grundy Center man accused of killing State Trooper Jim Smith during a standoff last April.

In coverage streamed by KCRG TV, the lawyer for Michael Lang asked the judge to dismiss the charges for lack of evidence. But Judge Joel Dalrymple declined.

That count is first-degree murder, and the judge also denied the request to dismiss charges of attempted murder and assault on a police officer in connection with the case. The prosecution rested after calling a ballistics expert from the DCI and the State Medical Examiner to testify. The defense lawyer then said they would not call any witnesses. They also said Lang would not testify in his own defense and the judge confirmed it with him.

Prosecutors asked that the trial not be resumed until Monday to allow Sergeant Smith’s family to fly to Washington, D.C. for the National Peace Officer Memorial ceremony. The defense attorney said he had a concern about the long weekend and jurors possible discussing the case. The judge addressed the issue with the jury before ending the session for the day.

The judge then reminded the jury they have not gotten the case yet and should not discuss it during the next three days.

He also reminded jurors to not discuss the case with family members during the weekend. The trial will resume Monday at the Hamilton County Courthouse in Webster City where the case was moved on a change of venue.

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