Parole Offender History Released For Utah Student’s Killer

Feb 25, 2019, 7:18 PM | Updated: 7:25 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A newly released report gives more details about the man who murdered University of Utah student Lauren McCluskey.

The report released Monday documented Melvin Rowland’s activities while he was on parole, beginning in April 2018 until the time he killed 21-year-old McCluskey.

The “offender history report” from the Utah Department of Corrections’ Adult Parole and Probation division showed that Rowland’s parole officer believed Rowland was doing everything right, almost.

However, the report did show Rowland violated his parole twice in the months leading up to McCluskey’s death.

Dan Blanchard, the director of AP&P, said the report was mainly positive, and showed Rowland did not give parole officers big concerns at the time.

“It shows for us overall that he was compliant with his supervision,” said Blanchard. “That doesn’t mean that he was working flawlessly with that supervision, by any means.”

One of Rowland’s violations was from May 2018, when his parole officer discovered a lot of messages from women Rowland was trying to date.

“I saw one message of him talking to a gal that has a 5-year-old daughter, and he’s wanting to meet up with her. I told him that is against his Group A conditions,” the officer wrote.

Because Rowland was a registered sex offender, the request was against the rules.

The officer also wrote that Rowland was on a dating site, which is considered social media, and therefor a violation of Rowland’s parole.

The other violation was from August 2018, where Rowland admitted to smoking marijuana at a birthday party.

“I came down on him and told him to get his crap together due to missing treatment and hanging out with people that are smoking marijuana, and he also took a hit of weed at the birthday party,” the officer wrote.

The parole officer gave Rowland verbal warnings for both violations. Blanchard said he made the right call.

“They followed the guidelines and our expectations of supervision,” Blanchard said.

McCluskey reported her concerns about Rowland to University of Utah Police Department, but they said they didn’t know he was on parole until after her death.

The report released Monday revealed a campus police officer made the discovery and contacted Rowland’s parole officer about 40 minutes after McCluskey was shot and killed.

“We find this surprising since the police have claimed they did not suspect Rowland was on parole when Lauren was filing complaints about him,” Lauren’s mother, Jill McCluskey, said in a statement.

Officials with the University Police said Monday that an officer searching police databases discovered the information, but only after McCluskey’s disappearance. They maintain they did not know beforehand that Rowland was on parole.

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Parole Offender History Released For Utah Student’s Killer