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By Chris Foreman
Tribune Review

GREENSBURG, Pa. - The man who killed a retired state police trooper from Rostraver was given a death sentence this week by an Ohio jury.
Calvin Neyland Jr., 44, was convicted last week of two counts of aggravated murder in the Aug. 8, 2007, shootings of Thomas Lazar, 58, of Rostraver, and Liberty Transportation manager Doug Smith, 44, of Toledo.

Lazar was security chief for the trucking company, which is based in New Alexandria. He worked as a patrol trooper, criminal investigator and public relations officer during his 25 years with the state police.
"I think the family is relieved that it's over, and we're glad that 12 people other than ourselves, that didn't know 'Tomm' and Doug, came to a conclusion the same as we felt for 14 months," Shirley Lazar, his widow, said Friday.
"We just didn't want this man ever seeing the light of day again," she said. "We just didn't want him out on the street to allow it to ever happen again."
Lazar had gone to Liberty's offices in northwestern Ohio to assist Smith in firing Neyland.
Lazar knew Neyland was a difficult person who might react physically to the firing, but he didn't anticipate Neyland being armed, Shirley Lazar said yesterday.
Wood County Judge Robert Pollex agreed with the jury's recommendation Thursday to impose capital punishment for the murders.
Attorneys for Neyland, a truck driver, told jurors he was mentally ill and asked for him to be sent to prison for life, the Associated Press reported.
At trial, prosecutors said Neyland, who was one violation away from being fired, had a traffic accident a week before the shootings, according to the AP.
Shirley Lazar said her husband of 30 years was very involved in his community, including his service as president of the Mon Valley Midget Football League.
At the league's championship games at Southmoreland High School today, 15 high school senior football players and cheerleaders who participated for five or more years will receive $2,000 scholarships through the Tomm Lazar Memorial Scholarship Fund.
League president Kim Dongilli, whose family is close with Lazar's, said league officials wanted to keep his name alive.
"He ran our league for many years and did a great job with it," Dongilli said.

Wire Service
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