ELIZABETHTOWN — In Essex County Court, David Lang admitted killing his brother in a plea that reduces a charge of second-degree murder to first-degree manslaughter.
The deal was struck on Wednesday morning, just weeks before Lang, 71, was set to go to trial on July 8.
The lesser charge carries a minimum of five years and a maximum of 25 years in prison.
But Judge Richard B. Meyer conditionally committed to a sentence of no less than 10 years and no more than 15 in the plea deal.
Conditionally means that the final sentence will depend on the final pre-sentencing report. David Lang has no prior convictions, according to the prosecution.
He had been indicted on Aug. 13, 2012, by an Essex County grand jury on charges of second-degree murder and possession of a weapon.
Lang pleaded not guilty at that time.
SHOT IN HEAD
He shot his brother Russell Lang in the head on June 19, 2012, at the farmhouse they shared at 325 Lake Road in Crown Point, where they had been living together for decades.
The two men had been arguing that day, and at least one of them was drinking bourbon. After firing the .22-caliber rifle, David called 911.
The younger brother, 63, was found in the driveway and was taken to Moses-Ludington Hospital in Ticonderoga in critical condition.
Flown to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, he died on June 20.
David was brought into court Wednesday wearing a jail uniform, secured by handcuffs and shuffling with ankle chains.
Essex County District Attorney Kristy Sprague told the court she had witnesses prepared to testify at trial.
Public Defender Brandon Boutelle sought an adjournment, pending evidence he said would prove the older brother was intoxicated when the shooting occurred.
The attorneys discussed the timeline on Wednesday morning.
David, his hair neatly trimmed, sat next to Boutelle and listened as the attorney described to Judge Richard B. Meyer what evidence and expert testimony was needed before trial.