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Parents of Lauren McCluskey, slain University of Utah student, end lawsuit after settlement

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FILE–Jill and Matt McCluskey announce lawsuit against University of Utah.

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The parents of slain University of Utah student Lauren McCluskey have ended their federal lawsuit against the school and others.

Attorneys for Jill and Matthew McCluskey filed a motion for dismissal in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Utah on Tuesday, saying “the parties have settled the dispute.”

Court documents outline that the McCluskeys apparently received payment from a settlement agreement reached in fall 2020. Per that agreement, the McCluskeys would dismiss their claims no later than 15 days after payment – that deadline fell on Tuesday.

The agreement was signed by a federal judge on Tuesday.

In October, the McCluskeys and the university announced they had reached a $13.5 million settlement, two years after Lauren was shot to death by her ex-boyfriend.

Of that settlement, the U of U agreed to pay $10.5 million to the McCluskeys and give $3 million to a foundation founded in Lauren’s name that is designed to improve campus safety as well as help collegiate track athletes and animal shelters. An indoor track facility will also be built and named after Lauren McCluskey as part of the settlement.

At the end of the 2021 Utah Legislative session, lawmakers approved the payment.

In October 2018, Lauren – a communication major and track and field student-athlete – was shot and killed by Melvin Shawn Rowland, a man she had a brief relationship with. Prior to her murder, she repeatedly reached out to the University of Utah Police Department saying Rowland was trying to extort her with photos and making threats. 

Soon after killing McCluskey, Salt Lake Police found Rowland, chasing him on foot into Trinity A.M.E. Church on 239 Martin Luther King Blvd. Rowland shot himself inside as the police entered the church.

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