The officer who mishandled reports from Lauren McCluskey, the University of Utah student who was murdered by an ex-boyfriend in October, has reportedly been disciplined for making the same mistakes in another domestic-violence case. When McCluskey told Officer Miguel Deras she was afraid of Melvin Rowland, he allegedly failed to relay her complaints to anyone else in the department and never researched that Rowland, a registered sex offender, was on parole. An independent review of the university’s public safety policies in the wake of McCluskey’s death pointed out that a thorough review of Rowland’s criminal history could have sent him back to prison for violating his parole—preventing her death. Rowland killed himself hours after fatally shooting McCluskey seven times.
Though Deras went through domestic violence response training after the review, he evidently repeated his mistakes and violated the department’s new policies in a February case by failing to research the suspect’s parole records, letting the suspect remain present during an interview with his alleged victim, and failing to call for backup. No other employees at the school or university police department have been disciplined in connection to McCluskey’s case. Her parents filed a $56 million lawsuit against the University of Utah last week.