Nathan Daniel Vogel leaves federal court following a hearing Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Salt Lake City. Vogel, a man who pleaded guilty to lying about buying the firearm used to kill college athlete Lauren McCluskey has been sentenced to three years of supervised release. Vogel said he accepts responsibility for loaning the weapon to McCluskey’s ex-boyfriend Melvin Rowland, who killed her last year. | AP
SALT LAKE CITY — The man who illegally purchased the gun that killed University of Utah student Lauren McCluskey will not serve any more time behind bars, a U.S. District Court judge determined Wednesday.
Nathan Daniel Vogel, 22, was sentenced to three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm. He will receive credit for the time he has already served, Judge Tena Campbell said.
Standing before the court Wednesday, Vogel said he was “terribly sorry” for what he had done.
“It was a terrible loss of life,” Vogel said, adding that he accepted responsibility for his actions.
In pleading guilty in June, Vogel admitted to illegally buying a handgun at a Salt Lake City store on Sept. 8, 2018. Because Vogel was afraid he wouldn’t be able to buy the gun that same day due to his military background, he gave 24-year-old Sarah Emily Lady money to make the purchase for him, and she filled out a form claiming she was the one buying the gun, according to the plea agreement. Once they were outside the store, Lady handed the gun over to Vogel.
Vogel would go on to lend the .40 caliber Beretta handgun to his coworker Melvin Rowland, who used it to shoot McCluskey in a parking lot outside her dorm just over a month after the purchase.
“Mr. Vogel never should have done this,” prosecutor Carlos Esqueda said outside the courtroom after the sentencing. “If he hadn’t, if he hadn’t given the gun to Mr. Rowland, Ms. McCluskey would likely be alive today.”
According to police reports from the University of Utah, Vogel told investigators that he believed Rowland “manipulated” him in order to borrow the gun after Vogel was fired from his job.
“I had told (Rowland) about my problems and stuff like that he offered me $200, so he manipulated me using the guilt trip to use my weapon,” Vogel said, according to a report. He loaned Rowland the gun on Oct. 17.
Vogel said he got a call from hotel security at Little America Hotel shortly after; security told him the gun had been found there, along with marijuana. After Vogel went to the hotel to claim the gun, Rowland “talked him into giving him the gun back” and paid him an additional $200, according to the report.
Rowland was meant to return the gun to Vogel after he supposedly took McCluskey target shooting, but he told Vogel that he and McCluskey were stuck in Moab, investigators wrote. In the days that followed, continued texts from Vogel …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Utah News