Local News

Suspect In Murder Of Dix Nurse Dying Of Prostate Cancer

Posted June 24, 2004 3:09 a.m. EDT

— A man charged with killing his wife near Dorothea Dix Hospital probably never will face a jury.

Daniel Lang's attorney said Wednesday that his client has terminal prostate cancer and probably will not live long enough to make his March trial.

Lang is accused of killing his wife, Shirley, who was a nurse at Dix.

After pleading guilty to earlier sex charges, Lang is being held at Central Prison, where he can receive medical treatment.

People who loved Shirley Lang have been waiting nearly a year and a half for justice.

"She was a wonderful person, Christian woman, smart as a whip," said former neighbor Julia Hunter.

Even if Daniel Lang does survive until March, he may not be physically able to go to trial.

"The likelihood is this case won't ever be tried," said Johnny Gaskins, Lang's attorney.

Prosecutors believe Lang -- who also worked at Dix -- killed his wife after she learned he had sexual contact with a patient.

Earlier this week, he pleaded guilty to the sex charges.

"Essentially, what we were trying to accomplish by entering those pleas was to get him into a facility where he could get medical treatment," Gaskins said, "and, at the same time, relieve Wake County of the financial responsibility of his medical treatment."