GRUNDY CENTER — Family members of slain State Trooper Jim Smith addressed the man who was found guilty of killing him Monday before he was sentenced to life in prison.
Smith’s daughter Jazlyn is one of the family members to give a victim impact statement. “My dad was the most comedic, selfless, and encouraging understanding, and God-honoring person I have ever and will ever meet. He knew and understood me better than anyone else. And that we should have had so much more time together,” she says. Jazlyn says her dad was supposed to be there to watch her graduate, move into college and walk her down the aisle.
She says their future was taken by a senseless act. “I may have only gotten 18 years on earth with my best friend but I know that I will get an eternity with him in Heaven,” she says, “and that is the truth that I and the rest of my family hold close as we navigate the rest of our days here without dad.”
Sergeant Smith’s wife Katherine also spoke. She says Michael Lang’s evil, selfish actions ripped her family apart. “My best friend and only man I ever loved is taken from me and our children in a way I never imagined. My world was turned upside down that night. And still is today,” Katherine Smith says.
Smith says her faith and her late husband’s belief in God has helped her. “I didn’t blame God for what happened. Evil people do evil things. I only blame this man. Not his parents or his family, or any officer there that night. Just him,” she says.
Smith says she is thankful he will spend the rest of his life in prison. “This man who clearly hates law enforcement who laughed about killing my husband won’t be able to hurt anyone else. And for that, I am grateful,” according to Smith. “Jim was granted some sense of justice. But he’s no longer with us here on Earth. My family, our family, and my heart is forever broken.”
They were married for nearly 28 years. Other family members also gave their victim impact statements before sentencing. Grundy County District Court Judge Joel Dalrymple said he agree with the statements using the terms evil, malicious and senseless to describe Lang.
He sentenced Lang to life for first-degree murder, 25 years for attempted murder, and a five-year sentence for assault — with all sentences to run consecutively.