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Derry Township assault suspect arrested

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James C. Lang Jr. of Derry Township was charged on Monday, July 21, 2014, with assaulting a woman over a five-day period.
Monday, July 21, 2014, 10:30 p.m.

A Derry Township man has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a woman repeatedly over five days and threatening to kill her in the same manner in which his daughter was murdered in 2007.

James C. Lang Jr., 56, held a long, serrated knife to the victim's neck when she tried to flee, threatening to “slit her throat like Samantha's was slit,” according to an affidavit filed by state police.

Lang's daughter, 22-year-old Samantha Lang, was murdered by an unknown assailant in the home along Route 982, where she lived with her father and brother. Her throat had been slit, and she was left to bleed to death.

James Lang and his son were in the Westmoreland County jail at the time of the murder.

The assault victim told troopers that James Lang had been “dope sick” and drunk since he had run out of money to buy heroin, according to police. She said Lang punched and head-butted her and gouged her eyes with his fingers between July 13 and 17.

She spent several nights away from the home to avoid Lang, according to a police report, then was beaten again when she returned. She eventually ran to a neighbor's house to call 911.

Police said the victim had severe bruising over both arms, a cut on her nose, multiple cuts and lacerations on her arms and legs, and possibly fractured bones in her face. She was taken to Excela Health Latrobe Hospital for treatment.

Troopers spent several days searching for Lang before arresting him on Monday afternoon in his home.

Charges have been filed with Derry Township District Judge Mark J. Bilik, including terroristic threats, two counts of simple assault, one count of recklessly endangering another person and one count of harassment.

Bond was set at $20,000 straight cash. A preliminary hearing is set for July 30.

No one has been charged with the murder of Samantha Lang.

Jacob Tierney is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

He can be reached at 724-836-6646 or

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