Opening arguments started this afternoon in the murder trial of Michael Lang of Grundy Center in the shooting death of Iowa State Patrol Sergeant Jim Smith last April.
During opening arguments streamed by KCRG TV, prosecutor Douglas Hammerand described how Smith and other officers entered Lang’s garage to arrest him. He says that’s when Lang turned on Smith with a shotgun.
“By the time Sergeant Smith saw him, he yelled ‘gun, gun’ and then you hear bang, bang,” Hammerand says. He says Lang shot Smith again before Smith could be pulled away. “Then as he’s laying on the ground, we hear another bang. The defendant shot him again with the slug through his leg — it went through his back calf,” he says.
He says another officer pulled Smith away but he died. Hammerand told the jury they will lay out why this is first-degree murder. “The evidence will show the defendant acted with malice aforethought. The evidence will show the defendant acted willfully deliberately, and premeditatedly and with the specific intent to kill Sergeant Smith,” Hammerand says.
Lang’s defense plans to use the state’s Stand Your Ground law and will argue Lang shot Smith in self-defense.