UPDATED: Judge sentences Calvin Neyland to death

Report by Lisa Rantala - email | bio

BOWLING GREEN (WTOL) - Judge Robert Pollex has affirmed the jury's recommendation -- made earlier today -- that Calvin Neyland be put to death.

The decision was handed down in Wood County Common Pleas Court on Thursday, Nov. 6. Neyland was found guilty on two counts of aggravated murder last week. He had been accused of killing Douglas Smith and Thomas Lazar last year at Liberty Trucking.

"The court imposes the sentence of the death penalty," the judge said.

A tough two weeks for the families of Douglas Smith and Tom Lazar ended with the outcome they were hoping for. Family member Don Smith says, "Doug is probably glad it's over for us."

The family heard how Neyland came to work at Liberty Trucking last August on the day Smith and Lazar planned to fire him. They heard Smith's call to 911 in which Neyland shot him right after he shot Lazar.

At the sentencing hearing, it was time for Neyland to hear how that day destroyed their lives.

Tom Lazar's son wiped away tears as he talked about thinking how he was going to tell his sister. Tom Lazar II was named after his father -- the state trooper, mentor and family man. "It's still empty that you don't get to sit down and have a talk with him." he said.

Then there's Doug Smith's fiance who never got to see her wedding day. With hands shaking, she could barely speak to the court.

Don Smith said, "In my mind, justice could never be done. Doug Smith and Tom Lazar are dead."

But before it was done, they still had to hear from Neyland himself who didn't apologize or show remorse. What he said was, "I can tell you from facts that Douglas Smith and Tom Lazar are not here to take responsibility for what they did prior to August the 8th and what led up to August the 8th."

Don Smith said after the hearing, "It just isn't worth the waste of my time to get upset about him."

So the families will walk away feeling justice, knowing Neyland will see the same fate he created -- death.