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Attorneys clarify comment in La Caille legal battle

Attorneys clarify comment in La Caille legal battle

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SANDY — Attorneys on one side of the ongoing legal battle over La Caille moved Thursday to correct an erroneous court transcript quoted this week by children of two of the restaurant's co-owners.

The Runolfson and Johnson families released a statement Wednesday condemning the toll the legal saga took on Steven and Lisa Runolfson, the husband and wife who died Christmas Day in an apparent murder-suicide at a Provo hotel. It cited an attorney for Mark Haug, a former minority partner in the business, saying he wanted to put La Caille out of business so he could get paid.

However, in an audio recording of the June hearing, the attorney, James Magleby, can be heard saying, "I don't want to put La Caille out of business." Magleby also sent reporters the recording and a corrected transcript of the hearing.

A court reporter apparently typed "I do want" instead of "I don't want" in the written transcript, but corrected the typo Wednesday after reviewing the audio transcript.

Thomas Karrenberg, the attorney for the Runolfson and Johnson families who released their statement, said Thursday he was not in court that day and had not listened to an audio recording, relying instead on a transcript.

But he said the sentiments behind the statement, in which the families vowed to appeal the $4.7 million judgment a jury granted Haug in March, remained the same. They filed a notice of appeal Dec. 17.

In the civil suit, Haug claimed that Runolfson and Johnson tried to "expel" Haug from the partnership and filed false criminal charges accusing him of stealing money from the business. Prosecutors later dismissed the charges.

Days before the shootings, Haug asked a 3rd District judge to find the defendants in contempt as the two sides awaited a ruling on Haug's $2 million in legal bills. Magleby has said it would be "ridiculous" to blame Haug for the Runolfsons' deaths.

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Paul Koepp


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