Ohio execution put on hold for killer of Westmoreland County man

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An Ohio man convicted of killing a retired Pennsylvania state trooper from Beaver County in 2007 has had his execution date put on hold.

The Ohio Supreme Court today stayed the scheduled Oct. 19, 2016, execution of Calvin C. Neyland Jr. so he could pursue federal appeals.

Neyland killed Thomas Lazar, 58, of Rostraver, a corporate safety director for Liberty Transportation, and Douglas Smith, 44, of Sylvania, Ohio, the company's branch manager, during a meeting in which Neyland was about to be fired for his erratic behavior.

The incident occurred Aug. 8, 2007 in Perrysburg Township, Ohio.

The stay will continue until all appeals are exhausted. The Ohio Supreme Court upheld Neyland's convictions and death sentence last month by a 5-2 vote.

Neyland has maintained that he was mentally ill at the time.

Lazar spent 26 years with the state police, working in Greensburg, Uniontown and the Belle Vernon barracks. He was the announcer for the Belle Vernon Area Leopards, the local high school football team and was involved in two local midget football leagues.

At Liberty, Lazar usually investigated accidents involving company trucks. Occasionally, he was called upon to fire people.

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