Miami-Dade police officer sentenced in 2014 road-rage shooting

Officer Jonathan Lang arrested after firing at corrections officer's car

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor, Terrell Forney - Reporter

MIAMI - Miami-Dade police Officer Jonathan Lang won't go to prison after he was sentenced Thursday for a 2014 road-rage incident involving a corrections officer.

Lang was arrested last year on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, discharging a firearm from a vehicle within 1,000 feet of a person and tampering with evidence.

He pleaded guilty to the charges in October.

"It's true I had personal demons," Lang told the judge before he was sentenced. "I was fighting and I was using alcohol as my drug to cope with the pain I was feeling. I knew it was wrong, but it was the only way I knew how."

A Miami-Dade County judge sentenced Lang to 10 years of probation. Under the terms of his probation, Lang must permanently forfeit his law enforcement certificate, all firearms and undergo mental and substance abuse counseling.

Lang must also perform 500 hours of community service.

According to court documents, Lang fired his gun at a car in July 2014 that was driven by corrections officer Georgina Illa after she cut him off while on Florida's Turnpike.

Prosecutors said Lang threw a plastic cup at Illa's car and then pulled out a gun, pointing it at her. Moments later, Illa heard what sounded like a gunshot.

A bullet hole was later found in the back of her car.

"I remember his face and I remember the hatred in his face as he was pointing his gun, and we were next to each other because he was on the passenger side and I was on the driver side," Illa said in court.

Text messages and telephone calls from Lang and his wife, who was driving their SUV, to a Miami-Dade police sergeant indicated that they needed help after getting into a road-rage incident, court documents showed.

Lang called the sergeant several times, at one point saying, "I'm going to lose my job," court documents said.

Authorities said Lang and his wife tried to delete the text messages from their phones, but a portion of the messages were recovered by police.

Lang apologized Thursday to Illa.

"I am truly sorry for what I did to you that night," Lang said. "You did not deserve it. I did not know you and I had nothing against you. It was myself."

The prosecution sought five years in prison for Lang, but the judge decided to show Lang leniency.

"Sir, you terrorized her," Judge Daryl Trawick said. "You pointed a loaded gun at her and your conduct was inexcusable."

Copyright 2016 by WPLG - All rights reserved.