Calvin Neyland Murders 2 In Ohio

Calvin Neyland was sentenced to death by the State of Ohio for a double murder

According to court documents Calvin Neyland would be fired from his job and would return and murder his boss and the company safety officer

Calvin Neyland would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death

Calvin Neyland Photos

Calvin Neyland

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Admission Date
Warren Correctional Institution

Calvin Neyland Case

Evidence introduced at trial showed that Neyland began working as a truck driver for Liberty Transportation Company in Perrysburg, Ohio, in July 2006.

{¶ 3} Beginning in March 2007, Neyland was cited several times for falsifying his driver’s logs and for committing other driving violations. On July 24, 2007, Liberty notified Neyland in writing of these infractions and informed him that any further violations for completing a false document would result in his termination from the company.

{¶ 4} Doug Smith was the branch manager for Liberty Transportation in Perrysburg. During the spring of 2007, Smith noticed a change in Neyland’s attitude and performance. Smith was receiving complaints from Liberty’s customers about Neyland, and some of them did not want Neyland to return to their businesses. Neyland and Smith had a meeting about one of the complaints. The meeting resulted in a bizarre ending with Neyland seated in a lawn chair outside Smith’s office, repeatedly phoning him, while Smith remained in his office with the doors locked.

{¶ 5} During late July or early August 2007, Anthony Arent, the shipping manager at nearby Great Lakes Windows, overheard Neyland on the phone with Smith. Arent testified that Neyland was “very uncooperative” during the conversation and that he resorted to profanity, calling Smith “a bitch.” William Lynch Jr., a truck driver for Liberty, talked to Neyland about a week before the murders. Neyland, who was upset with Smith, warned, “If they mess with me, I’ll just shoot them.”

{¶ 6} On August 1, 2007, Neyland was involved in a vehicle accident and was determined to be at fault. Following this incident, officials at Liberty decided to terminate Neyland’s employment.

{¶ 7} Smith scheduled a meeting with Neyland at Smith’s office at 8:00 a.m. on August 8, 2007, to terminate Neyland’s employment. Thomas Lazar, the safety director for Liberty, planned to attend this meeting because Smith did not want to be alone with Neyland when he terminated him. Lazar also planned to remove the Department of Transportation (“DOT”) sticker that was attached to the door of Neyland’s tractor-trailer.

{¶ 8} On August 8, Neyland delayed the meeting three times before he finally agreed to meet with Smith and Lazar at 3:00 p.m. During one conversation to reschedule the meeting, Neyland told Smith that if Smith was going to have somebody at the meeting, then he was going to bring somebody, too.

{¶ 9} At approximately 3:00 p.m., Neyland arrived outside Liberty’s warehouse in his tractor. Neyland was wearing a dark Hawaiian shirt. It is unclear whether Neyland met with either Lazar or Smith when he first arrived. In any event, Neyland shot Lazar four times in the back and once in the arm in the yard outside the building. Neyland then entered Liberty’s warehouse with a gun in his hand and walked up the stairway to Smith’s office.

{¶ 10} Smith called 9–1–1 and reported that he heard shots being fired. He told the 9–1–1 operator that he needed to get downstairs to see what was going on. On the recording of the call, two gunshots can be heard and a voice says, “crawl bitch.” There is then the sound of a struggle, and Smith repeatedly calls for help. A final shot was then fired. Neyland had killed Smith in his office with a single gunshot to the head.

{¶ 11} Afterwards, Neyland left the warehouse with the gun in his hand. He walked to his tractor and drove away.

{¶ 12} Police officers arriving at the scene found Lazar lying on the lawn in front of Liberty’s warehouse. He died at the scene shortly thereafter. Officers also went upstairs and found Smith’s dead body lying on the floor near his desk. A description of Neyland’s tractor, along with a partial license-plate number, was broadcast to law-enforcement agencies.

{¶ 13} Investigators collected shell casings outside the warehouse and around Smith’s office. They found one bullet hole that went through Smith’s chair and into the wall and another bullet hole in the wall behind the chair. Investigators also found paperwork about Neyland’s performance, including a driver’s vehicle-inspection report, in the middle of the desk.

{¶ 14} After the shooting, Neyland drove to the Silver Blue Motel in Monroe County, Michigan, where he was staying. During the late afternoon of August 8, 2007, police officers spotted Neyland’s tractor parked outside the motel. Officers watched the tractor until the Monroe County Special Weapons and Tactics (“SWAT”) team arrived.

{¶ 15} Around 6:00 p.m., Neyland came out of his motel room, got into the tractor, and drove the short distance to the motel office. The SWAT team then approached the vehicle and arrested Neyland. As he was being placed on the ground, Neyland said, “I was going to turn myself in.” Neyland also said, “I want the letter. There’s a letter in my truck. It’s to my brother. It’s my last will.” When asked if he had any weapons before being handcuffed, Neyland said, “No, the gun is in the truck by the door.”

{¶ 16} Neyland was placed in a police cruiser following his arrest. Sgt. Keith Williamson of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (“BCI & I”) Crime Scene Unit, obtained a gunshot-residue sample from Neyland’s hands.

{¶ 17} After obtaining a search warrant, the police seized evidence from Neyland’s tractor. A Ruger 9 mm handgun and magazine inside a holster, another weapon magazine, and a dark Hawaiian shirt were found between the driver’s and the passenger’s seats. Sgt. Williamson also obtained a gunshot-residue sample from the steering wheel.

{¶ 18} During the search of the tractor, the police collected an envelope addressed to Phyllis Gregory with Neyland’s return address. Inside the envelope were three default-payment notices that had been sent to Neyland for four storage units. On each of the notices, Neyland had handwritten some variation of the following statement: “This may be my last will and testament. You may have these items. I will no longer be able to pay; these are paid til 8/1/07.” Two of the statements were signed by Neyland. On the reverse side of one notice, Neyland wrote that additional items were located at the Silver Blue Motel. Beneath this last statement, Neyland wrote an address next to his brother’s name.

{¶ 19} Dr. Cynthia Beisser, M.D., deputy coroner for Lucas County, conducted the autopsies on Smith and Lazar. Dr. Beisser testified that Smith died from one gunshot wound to the head. The gunshot entered Smith’s right cheek and exited just above his left ear.

{¶ 20} Dr. Beisser testified that Lazar was shot four times in the back and once in the right arm. Three of the shots in the back were in close proximity and displayed a triangular pattern. Gunpowder stippling around one of the gunshot wounds in the back indicated “an intermediate range of fire.” Dr. Beisser concluded that Lazar’s death resulted from multiple gunshot wounds.

{¶ 21} After obtaining a search warrant, the police searched Neyland’s storage units. In one of the units, the police found two spotting scopes set up in the middle of the unit with pieces of paper underneath. The top piece of paper stated, “If your big dumb retard ass wasn’t in here!!! You wouldn’t be reading this would you?” A paper underneath that one stated, “OOOO, I’m so scared. Three Round Shot Group.” On the same paper, three pennies were arranged in a triangular pattern with circles drawn around them. Below the pennies, there was the statement, “You think I’m playing[.] You’re gonna come up missing!!!” Numerous firearms and ammunition were also found in the storage unit.

{¶ 22} Daniel Davison, a forensic scientist at BCI & I, performed a gunshot-residue analysis on samples from Neyland’s hands and from the steering wheel of the tractor. Davison testified that test results were “highly indicative of gunshot residue” on one of the samples from Neyland’s hands and on a sample from the steering wheel.

{¶ 23} Todd Wharton, a forensic scientist at BCI & I, compared Neyland’s fingerprints with a fingerprint lifted from a weapons magazine found in Neyland’s tractor. Wharton testified that his comparison identified the print of Neyland’s left little finger on the magazine.

{¶ 24} Wharton also examined the Ruger 9 mm semiautomatic pistol found in Neyland’s tractor. Testing established that the empty cartridge cases collected at the murder scene were fired from this firearm. Testing also confirmed that bullets recovered from the scene and from the Lazar autopsy had been fired by this firearm.

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