Elizabethtown Family members of David Lang cried and called out “I love you Dave” to him as he was removed from the court room on Aug. 8 after the 71-year-old was sentenced to 15 years in prison with five years post supervision for killing his brother.
Lang pleaded guilty to the charge of first-degree manslaughter. In June he had reached a plea agreement in Essex County Court that lowered the charge from the original charge of second degree murder. As part of his plea agreement, Judge Richard B. Meyer agreed to a sentence of no less than 10 years and no more than 15 years with five years of probation.
During sentencing, Essex County District Attorney Kristy Sprague asked for the maximum allowable sentence to be imposed.
“David Lang decided to pick up that gun and kill Russell, and Russell didn’t die immediately. Not one point did the defendant go over to him or try to offer support, medically or emotionally. He placed a very cold, lack of emotion 911 call. At no time did he show any remorse through the recording that I listened to,” said Sprague.
Members of Lang’s family had written several letters to the court on behalf of David, asking for the minimum sentence of 10 years.
“What is also throughout these letters missing is Russell. Russell seems to be the forgotten person here. “Poor David this, Poor David that” At no point do we hear any remorse or any mourning of Russell,” said Sprague. “So I’m here to be that voice for Russell Lang.”
Lang’s attorney, Chief public defender Brandon Boutelle, argued that Lang had lived 70 years with a clean criminal record and his family was reaching out to the court to grant them the comfort of his company.
“From these letters you get a sense of the mentality of this family, it is very hard for that generation to express emotion,” said Boutelle. “They still see they have David and are holding onto some hope of his company before his final days.”