116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
GRUNDY CENTER — A man suspected of fatally shooting an Iowa State Patrol trooper during a violent standoff last month has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and other charges in the case.
Michael Lang, 41, of Grundy Center, was set to appear in court Monday on charges of first-degree murder, assault on a peace officer and attempted murder for the April 9 killing of Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Jim Smith during a standoff at Lang’s home. Instead, Lang’s attorney filed a written plea Sunday, the Des Moines Register reported.
A trial date had not been set by Monday afternoon.
Prosecutors have said Lang opened fire on state troopers during the standoff, killing Smith, and was in turn later shot three times by troopers returning fire. Lang has since been released from the hospital and is expected to recover.
Authorities have said Lang was initially pulled over by a deputy on suspicion of speeding and illegally driving without an ignition interlock device that tests whether someone has been drinking alcohol.
Lang is then accused of leading the deputy on a brief pursuit, assaulting him after stopping, fleeing to his home and barricading himself inside. Smith, 51, went in with a group of officers and a police dog an hour later, and police say he was shot by Lang as the lawman entered the home’s main floor. That led to an hourslong standoff that culminated in the shootout with troopers.