Sgt. Jim Smith. (State Patrol photo)

The murder trial opens today in Webster City for the man accused of killing an Iowa State Patrol trooper in a standoff last year.

Forty-two-year-old Michael Lang is accused of shooting Sgt. Jim Smith in Lang’s Grundy Center home in a confrontation on April 9, 2021. Lang, who himself was shot several times after police used an armored vehicle to breach his residence, is charged with murder, attempted murder, and assaulting a police officer.

Smith was a 27-year member of the Iowa State Patrol at the time of his death last year. The trial was moved to Hamilton County in January on a change of venue due to extensive media coverage and public interest in the case.

Jury selection will begin today followed by opening statements from attorneys. Several witnesses will take the stand during the trial that will likely continue into next week.

(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)