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Man plotting to kill abortion doctor will stay in jail

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Dane County Sheriff's Department photo of Ralph Lang
Dane County Sheriff's Department photo of Ralph Lang

MADISON, Wis. (WTAQ) - A Marshfield man will stay in jail for awhile, after he allegedly plotted to kill an abortion doctor in Madison.

At a hearing today, Federal Magistrate Judge Peter Oppeneer ordered 63-year-old Ralph Lang to stay detained as prosecutors consider tougher charges against him. Lang was charged Thursday with a federal misdemeanor count of trying to injure people providing reproductive health services.

The US attorney’s office in Madison now says it’s working with the Justice Department in Washington on adding a possible felony count of interfering with a person’s use of a program that gets federal funds.

US Attorney John Vaudreiul asked that Lang stay in jail for now, saying he poses a danger to the community. Vaudreiul said his office might take the case to a federal grand jury in its next meeting in about three weeks.

Lang was arrested Wednesday night after a gun reportedly went off by accident in his Madison motel room. He reportedly told officers about his plan to kill an abortion doctor and perhaps some nurses Thursday at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Madison.

At least one pro-life group has distanced itself from the incident.

Wisconsin Right-to-Life director Barbara Lyons says her group deplores what Lang allegedly did – and it totally opposes violence.

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