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Ex-Pitcairn firefighter convicted of double slaying

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By Bobby Kerlik
Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008

A former Pitcairn firefighter kept silent and showed no emotion when a jury convicted him Wednesday of first-degree murder for killing his wife and her friend outside a Monroeville restaurant.

John Lang, 35, was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole for shooting Tracy Braverman-Lang, 41, and Louis Goldenson, 37, outside Don Pablo's on March 15.

"I don't think Mr. Lang realizes his own mistake. His conclusion was wrong. The jury was right," Braverman-Lang's friend Sabrina Orlansky testified during his sentencing hearing. "He's accepted responsibility with the verdict, but he doesn't say he's sorry. It's a small word."

Orlansky disputed the claim of Lang's attorney, Bob Foreman, who told the Allegheny County jury that Braverman-Lang and Goldenson were on a romantic date. Lang told police he saw the pair kissing and hugging in the parking lot before he opened fire. Foreman argued a heat-of-passion killing should not result in a first-degree murder conviction.

Orlansky said Braverman-Lang and Goldenson were simply childhood friends. The Langs volunteered as firefighters in Pitcairn for seven years. Goldenson volunteered as a firefighter in Monroeville.

"He got exactly what he deserves. He murdered two innocent people," Goldenson's sister, Gigi Goldenson said. "He said absolutely nothing. It was a very odd situation. But he can't bring back Tracy or my brother."

The jury of six men and six women deliberated about two hours before returning the verdict. Common Pleas Judge Jill E. Rangos added an additional one to two years in prison for Lang's conviction on carrying a gun without a license.

On Tuesday, the first day of the trial, Deputy District Attorney Bruce Beemer played the 911 call Lang made seconds after the shootings. He told dispatchers matter-of-factly that he just shot and killed his wife and "the man she was cheating on me with." He stayed on the line with dispatchers until police arrived and arrested him.

In a taped confession to police, Lang described how he couldn't sleep and decided to go and look for his wife, who had told him she was at Don Pablo's comforting Orlansky because she had been diagnosed with cancer.

He calmly described how he shot Braverman-Lang and Goldenson multiple times, including one shot each to the head.

"Did you see any emotion in his face• There was no emotion, no sadness," said Gilbert Braverman, 69, of Monroeville, Braverman-Lang's father. "I hope he has a heck of a bad time in prison. She was a good daughter."

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