Does acquittal in brutal home attack set ‘disturbing precedent’ for criminal …

December 20th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

LINCOLNVILLE, Maine — That Friday evening in late April started out like any other night in the busy Lang household.

Leslie Lang, 45, the wife of a State Police lieutenant, was doing chores. Her 12-year-old daughter, Isabelle, was upstairs in her room. Isabelle’s twin brother, Noah, was at baseball practice in nearby Hope with his father, Glenn.

Then, out her window, Isabelle noticed something unusual on their rural road.

“All of a sudden my daughter yells ‘Mom! There’s a lunatic running across our yard!’” Leslie Lang told the BDN in a recent interview. “The next thing I know, he’s in the house.”

That man, a neighbor who had recently moved in across the road, violently punched and choked Lang. She struggled to escape, and ultimately 51-year-old David Klim was charged with aggravated assault and aggravated criminal trespass in the April 26 incident.

During the criminal trial that recently wrapped up in Belfast, however, the judge acquitted Klim, who was described in court as having a criminal record and a history of substance abuse and mental illness.

A Bangor Daily News review of court records reveals a complicated, unusual case. Court documents say Klim attacked Lang shortly after smoking medical marijuana, and two medical experts who testified in court said the marijuana use may have exacerbated his psychiatric disorder and pushed him over the edge of reality.

Yet in his verdict, Justice Robert Murray did not mention Klim’s marijuana use. He said Klim suffered a psychotic episode at

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