The Charlestown man charged with murdering an off-duty correction officer in 2005 will not see a new trial, prosecutors said Friday.
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Francis Lang’s first-degree murder conviction for stabbing Sgt. Richard Dever to death, according to District Attorney Dan Conley.
“This was first-degree murder. Nothing less,” Conley said in a press release. “The defendant received a fair trial with the benefit of experienced counsel and there was no legal or factual basis to disturb the jury’s verdict.”
Lang argued that he was denied a fair trial when his sister and and others were asked to step out of the courtroom in order to make room for prospective jurors.
In the trial, Lang’s attorney argued that Lang acted in self-defense after being attacked at Sullivan’s Pub, A Superior Court judge ruled in Lang’s earlier appeal that the attorney’s decision to pursue that defense did not amount to ineffective assistance of counsel.
Prosecutors showed that Devers was at the bar and was part of the group of patrons and employees who tried to kick Lang out of the bar. The story goes that Lang was causing a disturbance and threw a beer at a group of people. Once outside, Lang and Devers went at it and Lang stabbed Devers four times in the chest and slashed his face.