Nathan Leuthold loved to work, enjoyed planning large projects, largely avoided showing emotion but was also an avid baseball fan and hunter, said a person who ministered with him in Lithuania.

William Harper, a fellow missionary, lived five minutes from Leuthold, his wife Denise and their three children in 2010, when they were in Siauliai, a city in north-central Lithuania.

“He was a very logical person, and very much in control of his emotions,” he said. “It was rare to see him do anything emotional.”

Leuthold will be sentenced Wednesday for the murder of his wife. He faces at least 45 years, and possibly up to life in prison. Prosecutors have alleged Leuthold killed his wife to be with his Lithuanian lover, Aina Dobilaite, a statement both Dobilaite and Leuthold deny.

It was hard at first for Harper to believe his friend was guilty, but after Leuthold was arrested last year and more facts came out, that doubt started to vanish, he said. Evidence at trial of Internet searches, jailhouse phone calls and what prosecutors said were planned stops at businesses for his alibi cemented it.

“That’s one thing that points to him, because he was such an organized person,” Harper said. “And when I found out they (Nathan Leuthold and Dobilaite) spent the night together in an apartment, that’s when I thought he could be guilty.”

The Nathan Leuthold whom Harper knew from ministry work was a family man. The two families were close — their children played together, and their wives would socialize. But Harper said his mind started to change after he came back for Denise’s funeral.

“We came back for a week or so for the funeral, and spent a lot of time with him during then,” he said of Leuthold. “That was the only time I have ever seen him cry. He talked a lot about the children and about how they were going to miss their mother — especially the girls, who were looking forward to doing things with Denise.

“I remember him talking a lot about how it would affect his work, how it was going to affect the children — but I don’t remember him saying anything along the lines that he was going to miss his wife,” Harper said.

Denise, Harper said, was a quiet person while in Lithuania, and someone who prided herself on taking care of her family.

“The children and the house were always spotless. She taught the children at home and the children were good kids, well-behaved and well-spoken,” he said.

Harper also knew Dobilaite, who was then already working with the Leutholds.

“It was between her junior and senior year of high school,” Harper said, calling Dobilaite “one of the smartest people either of us will ever meet.” The Lithuanian woman would help with the children, clean the house and also worked often with Nathan Leuthold on translations or work for the church.

Nathan, he said, recommended Dobilaite to teach Lithuanian to his family, which she did for months.

The relationship between Dobilaite and Nathan Leuthold was a key factor for prosecutors, who believe Leuthold killed his wife to be with the younger woman. When asked if he saw anything out of character or suspicious, Harper said the question had come up and both repeatedly denied anything romantic.

But he did remember hearing about how they traveled a lot together, would stay overnight without Denise being there and, on a transatlantic flight, Dobilaite was seen snuggling up to Nathan during the long trip.

“What married man does that when his wife isn’t there, especially with an 18-year-old?” Harper asked.

Harper keeps in touch with people back in Lithuania. Dobilaite has since returned, but he hasn’t tried to contact her. People there tend to view the trial as suspect, given the state of their own criminal justice system, he said.

“In Lithuania, whoever has the most money will win, so for a lot of them, they think it was set up by corrupt judges and police,” he said.

Churchgoers, he said, are struggling with it, as Nathan Leuthold was well-liked. And the church itself is quietly taking some of the responsibility.

“The pastor there had told me that they were rethinking things for letting this (then) 18-year-old girl go across the ocean and go off to college and never staying in contact with her,” he said.

Some think “Aina’s an innocent schoolgirl who was seduced by this old, more civilized guy.” Others don’t believe there was an affair. Either way, the focus for many in Lithuania was the fairness of the trial.