You are hereWisconsin State Journal: Update: Marshfield man who allegedly came here to kill abortion provider ordered held in custody

Wisconsin State Journal: Update: Marshfield man who allegedly came here to kill abortion provider ordered held in custody

-By Ed Treleven

May 27, 2011- The Marshfield man who drove to Madison to kill an abortion doctor was ordered held in custody Friday as federal prosecutors considered new charges against him.

Ralph Lang, 63, faces a misdemeanor federal charge of attempting to injure, intimidate and interfere with people providing reproductive health services, according to a criminal complaint.

But U.S. Attorney John Vaudreuil said prosecutors, working with the Department of Justice's civil rights division in Washington, are considering seeking a felony charge against Lang alleging that he interfered with a person's use of a program that receives federal funds.

Vaudreuil said prosecutors could take the case to a grand jury in three weeks when it next meets.

Vaudreuil asked a judge to keep Lang in custody despite being charged with a misdemeanor. Vaudreuil later said he made the request because Lang poses a "risk of danger to the community."

Lang lives alone, Vaudreuil said.

Also Friday, a Wisconsin group that opposes abortions said it deplores Lang's alleged actions. Barbara Lyons, executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life, said Friday her group is unequivocally opposed to the use of violence.

Lang was arrested Wednesday night when his gun went off in his motel room not far from the Planned Parenthood clinic that he planned to attack Thursday.

Lang told a Madison police officer at the Motel 6, 1754 Thierer Road, that he had a gun "to lay out abortionists because they are killing babies," according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday in U.S. District Court.

Lang said he planned on shooting the clinic's doctor "right in the head," according to the complaint. Asked if he planned to shoot just the doctor or nurses, too, Lang replied he wished he "could line them up all in a row, get a machine gun, and mow them all down," the complaint said.

Vaudreuil said Friday that police recovered the gun and executed a two search warrants, one on the motel room Lang stayed in and the other on his vehicle. Authorities may also search his home, Vaudreuil said.

Teri Huyck, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, said the organization's primary concern "today and everyday" is the health and safety of its patients, staff and volunteers.

"With the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Madison Police Department, we have taken the security precautions necessary to continue with our work," she said.



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