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Man sentenced to life term for killing of Iowa state trooper

james smith.jpg
Posted at 4:24 PM, Jun 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-27 17:24:50-04

GRUNDY CENTER, Iowa (AP)  — An Iowa man was sentenced Monday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for fatally shooting an Iowa State Patrol trooper last year during a standoff and shootout with police.

The mandatory sentence was handed down a little more than a month after a jury found Michael Lang, 42, guilty of first-degree murder, attempted murder and assaulting a police officer for his actions on April 9, 2021, that killed 51-year-old patrol Sgt. Jim Smith in Grundy Center. The city of nearly 3,000 people is about 60 miles (97 kilometers) northeast of Des Moines.

Judge Joel Dalrymple also ordered Lang to pay $150,000 in restitution to Smith's estate.

Smith, a 27-year patrol veteran, was shot as he led a team of officers into Lang's home in Grundy Center. Lang had barricaded himself inside the home after he assaulted another officer during a traffic stop that day, police said. Lang was also shot by officers but recovered.

Smith was the 11th trooper to die in the line of duty in the Iowa State Patrol's history. Since then, a 12th trooper has died in the line of duty.

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