FREMONT - Despite testifying that he killed Tim Broski in self defense, Douglas Langley was shackled by Sandusky County sheriff's deputies yesterday after a jury found him guilty of murder.
After a tense five-day trial, Langley, 34, of Burgoon, Ohio, was convicted of murder and abuse of a corpse in the Feb. 17 shooting death of Mr. Broski at the Iron Coffins Motorcycle Club. But he was acquitted of aggravated murder and one count of abduction.
“Obviously, we're happy with the verdict,” assistant county Prosecutor John Kolesar said.
To convict Langley on a charge of aggravated murder, jurors were told to consider whether the prosecution proved that murder was committed “purposely” and with “prior calculation and design.'' The charge carries a possible maximum sentence of life in prison.
The murder conviction carries a sentence of 15 years to life in prison with a mandatory three-year sentence for use of a firearm. No sentencing date was set.
The abuse of corpse charge, which was filed because Mr. Broski's body was found in a garbage bag, is a six to 12 month sentence.
Friends and family of Mr. Broski and Langley declined to comment. Members from both families left the common pleas courtroom wiping tears from their eyes.
Langley said Monday he shot Mr. Broski in the head because he feared for his life. He said the Bettsville, Ohio, man had been combative earlier in the night and had threatened him with a large knife at the time of the shooting.
The prosecutor reiterated in his closing arguments yesterday that Langley, the club's sergeant-at-arms, provoked the fatal confrontation in the Fremont club. In particular, Mr. Kolesar pointed out that it was Langley who took the machete into the club after Mr. Broski said he had one in his truck.
He then asked jurors to use common sense when deliberating the facts of the case, particularly when considering the victim's claim of self defense.
“911 is called at 3:57 [a.m.], 21/2 hours later. Does that look like self-defense to you?” he asked.
Mr. Kolesar next projected a photograph of a man's body protruding from a garbage bag.
“Does that look like self-defense to you?” he asked again. “This isn't a case of self-defense. This is a case of prior calculations.”
In his closing arguments, defense attorney Ron Wingate asked jurors to put themselves in his client's position.
He then asked whether, with the evidence put forth, they would find themselves guilty of aggravated murder.
“I think not,” he said.
Langley's friends and fellow Iron Coffin members defended Langley's actions outside the courtroom, reiterating that the Burgoon man acted in self defense. They also questioned whether he had been judged by an unbiased jury.
“They don't understand our lifestyle,” club member Ron Asberry said.
“Fremont is a small, good country town, but they talk,” added club member Tom Cooner. “This has been in the news since it happened.”