'That man was a criminal:' Man charged in random, fatal stabbing in Greenfield pleads not guilty

Amando Lang

MILWAUKEE COUNTY -- A Greenfield man prosecutors said fatally stabbed an innocent man in a random attack on Aug. 27 pleaded not guilty to a charge of first degree intentional homicide on Monday, Sept. 9.

Amando Lang, 19, was in court for his preliminary hearing, during which two Greenfield police detectives testified. A motion to dismiss from the defense was denied, and Lang was bound over for trial. A scheduling conference was set for Sept. 16.

According to a criminal complaint, Lang offered a statement to police after his arrest. The complaint said Lang spoke of, "The man at Speedway," and said, "Basically what happened is, that man was a criminal."

Lang said, "This man was going to try to murder my family and (expletive)."

Lang added, in part:

"I went and told him in the call, 'You sat there and tried breaking into my door again. I'm going to meet you at Speedway where you work and do your dirty (expletive) to the (expletive) government. Meaning, you are a criminal, and I'm going to sit there and I'm going to shank you in your neck with my (expletive) innuendo. So this man was thinking, "Oh, I have a 99% chance of killing him, right?" Which is me. Which, I'm not up there. I'm here now. I'm living. I killed him, right?"

"So basically, I went to the sidewalk. I sat there and walked all the way down there. I slipped my innuendo, put it through his (expletive) neck, watched his (expletive) neck bleed out putrid (expletive) blood, knowing I had a 99% chance of dying."

"Which I am officially known as FBI cop."

"So basically, when I killed him, I ran all the way home. I got arrested. Which, I'm here right now. And, you know, I'll beat my case."

Amando Lang

Ben Christianson

The complaint said Lang described the weapon he used as an automatic knife.

Those documents also detailed the moment Lang's mother was allowed to speak with her son in custody. It said as she was escorted into the interview room, Lang said,. "I had to kill that man, Mom. I had to kill that (expletive) man."

A search warrant obtained by FOX6 News said a week before the stabbing, Lang sent a Snapchat message to a friend, saying he was, "Trying to smell death."

The day of the stabbing, authorities said they found numerous weapons, including knives, box cutters, razor blades, and bloodstains in Lang's apartment. Police said that evidence that linked Lang to the brutal killing of Ben Christianson.

Christianson was stabbed around noon on Aug. 27 while doing contract work for Verizon near 60th and Armour in Greenfield -- collecting soil samples as an employee of Ramaker & Associates, based in Sauk City.

The complaint said a witness working to provide aid to Christianson at the scene told police she saw someone in all black running northbound over the expressway overpass.

Amando Lang

Amando Lang

Prior to the stabbing, police said Lang was caught on camera wearing dark clothing -- moving through the area -- making his way toward 60th and Armour.

Lang was arrested at his home near 61st and Cold Spring that same day.

According to police, this was a random attack. Christianson, who had no connection to Lang, was stabbed in the neck.

"It's kind of disturbing, to say the least," said Michael Davis, Greenfield resident.

Police said Lang's sister told them Lang left around noon on Aug. 27, and returned about 20 minutes later -- giving her a look she described as, "His look for when he has done something wrong." She said he carries weapons around, including swords, knives, and a BB gun. She said as he leaves the house, he often says he's, "Going to go out and kill people."

Lang was once photographed by a neighbor wielding a sword.

Lang's mother told police her son struggles with autism and anger issues, and had stopped taking his medication.

Amando Lang

"Everybody's second guessing everybody around you," said Davis. "Do you know 'em? Do you really know anybody? It makes you think any time you do anything, you keep your kids near."

Christianson would have turned 50 years old on Labor Day. His mother, Jane Christianson, issued the following statement to FOX6 News:

"It is ironic that Ben's life was ended where he loved being -- outdoors -- doing what he loved, his job. Ben lived his almost 50 years fully; skiing, fishing, working and camping with his buddies."

Lang made his initial appearance in court on Aug. 31. Cash bond was set at $200,000.