Teen faces hearing in deputy’s murder

PROVO — A police dash camera that recorded the final moments of Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Cory Wride was played in front of weeping relatives in court here, as a judge decided whether to order a 17-year-old girl to face trial as an adult in his murder.

Meagan Grunwald huddled with her attorneys but showed little emotion as the recording played out. On screen, the traffic stop outside Eagle Mountain was played. Wride walked up to the Toyota Tundra and spoke with Grunwald, who was driving.

Jose Angel Garcia-Jauregui was in the passenger seat.

The tape showed Wride also speaking with Garcia-Jauregui, then returning to his vehicle. Shortly after Wride received a computer alert that Garcia-Jauregui had a warrant for his arrest, the brake lights of the Tundra come on and the rear-window slide open. An arm holding a handgun appears and seven shots are fired.

Wride groaned on the recording as the truck speeds off. Prosecutors showed the court Wride’s vehicle — riddled with bullet holes, his body slumped in the seat.

Before the recording was played, many members of Wride’s family walked out. Those who stayed were weeping.

In another dash camera recording played for the judge, Utah County Sheriff’s deputy Greg Sherwood encountered the Tundra on I-15. He gives pursuit, then there’s a “pop” and Sherwood stops.

The recording showed the Tundra make a U-turn and speed past Sherwood while he sits wounded. Sherwood calls out and says he’s been hit, giving his location.

The shooting of the two officers led to a 110 mile-per-hour chase that ultimately ended near Nephi.

“The truck pulls up next to me and the guy leans out the window,” testified trucker Alonso Van Tassel, who was caught up in the chase. “He looks at me and he shoots at my tractor again, fires two more shots. I mean, he was right there next to me.”

More police dash camera recordings showed the chase. On one video, Grunwald and Garcia-Jauregui are seen running from their spiked pickup toward an overpass.

Juab County Sheriff’s deputy Alan Taylor testified that he saw Garcia-Jauregui fire shots at officers, including himself. The two are then seen carjacking an SUV and the pursuit continued.

“He was pointing a gun at everybody and everything in that intersection,” Taylor told the court.

A few miles down the road, the SUV is seen swerving toward a UHP cruiser. The SUV’s tires were spiked and the vehicle is seen losing a tire, going into the median and hitting another car in oncoming traffic.

Another recording showed deputies exchanging gunfire.

“Get down! Get down! Get down!” a deputy yells.

Gunshots are heard. Grunwald is seen on the recording laying down on I-15. Traffic is still moving on the freeway.

More gunshots were heard as officers run across the median. Garcia-Jauregui was ultimately shot by police. Taylor described him still being conscious as officers arrived.

“He said, ‘Why don’t you let me kiss my girlfriend with my last dying breath?'” Taylor testified. “I told him, ‘That’s not going to happen.'”

Grunwald sat in her chair, looking upset.

“You shot him in the head! You shot him in the head!” Taylor said Grunwald shouted at him.

The recordings were forbidden from being broadcast in an order issued by Fourth District Court Judge Darold McDade.

In testimony Wednesday afternoon, prosecutors introduced evidence of Grunwald and Garcia-Jauregui’s relationship. Prosecutors showed the judge pictures of them “cuddling,” a picture of a ring on a girl’s hand, and a note that read:

In a dark time in your life, a Angel fell into your path with broken wings and a broken heart. You took him in and helped him heal. F—ing love you Babby girl.”

Prosecutors said Garcia-Jauregui changed the tattoo on his neck from “Gabby” to “Babby.” Defense attorneys stipulated “Babby” was the pet name for Grunwald.

But outside court, Grunwald’s defense attorney suggested she may have been a hostage of Garcia-Jauregui.

“We have a 17-year-old girl, admittedly that had a close relationship that is now locked in a  truck with a lunatic, shooting everything and everywhere he can,” Dean Zabriskie told reporters. “I would hope everyone can wait until she can recite her feelings about what happened.”

Grunwald is facing murder, attempted murder, weapons and robbery charges for her role in the crime spree.

27 comments

  • John R. Cocktoasten

    Please!!! She needs to be charged as an adult and spend the rest of her life in prison! She chose to do adult things and continued her actions after the first killing… She needs to go away for the sake of the officer’s family and society!

    • steve

      She is a kid. Until I hear her side of the story I am not judging. I am sadly disappointed in everyone who is ready to take a teens life away without hearing the full story. She may be at fault or maybe he was crazy and threatening her. If I had someone firing a fin at police in my car I would be scared and would probably not run away for fear of being shot. We have a justice system for a reason. People saying send get away for life obviously don’t understand what it is about.

  • Freezin'

    If we don’t start with harsher penalties on these teen-agers who think it’s cool to ride like gangsters, we are enabling them and more injured officers. Throw the book at her and teach her a lesson. There is a young family out there with no dad because of her actions.

    • Bob

      Those who place such low esteem on human life must be separated from decent society. We are all free to make choices, but none of us are free from the consequences of those choices.

    • Bitsko

      You ever read up on Adolph Hitler’s formative years? It’s not pretty.

      Most violent criminals had horrible childhoods. You want to take them home and cuddle them? Go for it……but put a tall fence around your house, please.

  • Janet Johnson Madden

    Her smiling face shows she has no feelings……an empty shell of a human. She should get NO MERCY ~ DEATH PENALTY ALL THE WAY!!!

  • Korri Sutton

    She didn’t take NO LIFE!!!!! READ THE BLACK PRINT….. SMILING :) You cant past judgment on a person maybe she saw her family in the court room! ITs all about speculations! We have no clue what happened in the cab of the truck its between her…god.. the other suspect ( which is dead) And her attorneys! There is a reason why they our doing the hearing to gather info! If you all think you know it all! Maybe you should be the judge! This is a tragedy anyway you look at it! The officers involved…. the suspects family…the officers family! Show some compassion and quit passing judgment!

    • Really?

      She aided a murdering dirt bad… An officer lost his life and all she was worried about was her loser boyfriend… She should fry, then maybe your “god” can truly decide her fate… I am glad you don’t think we should pass judgment after an officer died in the line of duty…

    • Really?

      Please learn proper spelling and grammar, then post your un-educated garbage on here… It is they’re not there…

  • Trish Ramirez

    Drive a car involved in the murder of a cop and people demand the death penalty. But if you’re a cop and you kill someone unlawfully you get a slap on the wrist and paid vacation. Police state USA – you asked for it, you got it.

    The cops that murdered Danielle Willard are asking for their jobs back despite being found not to have had any legal reason to use deadly force. And this girl will probably spend the rest of her life in prison for driving a car.

    The double standard is nauseating.

      • Trish Ramirez

        Then charge her as an accessory to murder, not with murder.

        And then charge the cops that shot and killed an unarmed Danielle Willard with murder, too.

        There is no justice in this state.

      • Really?

        Police deal with stressful situations all day and place their lives on the line. Sometimes things happen like that. If a cop fears for their life, of course they will act…

      • Trish Ramirez

        @ Really – Cops are doing their jobs. They choose their careers and are paid for their service. They are treated above the law and better than the average American citizen. They are screened to be dumb bullies (think I’m lying or exaggerating, look it up – they are psychologically tested and if they score too high on IQ tests the Supreme Court has upheld the rights of departments not to hire them – they want them smart enough to follow orders but too dumb to question them) they choose their careers with full knowledge of the dangers and they accept the risks in order to get paid and enjoy the perks of being above the law.

        They are not doing this for charity.

        If they are unable to handle the stress of their position, maybe they should go work at Walmart or something, not shoot people to death in violation of their constitutional rights.

    • Bob

      To Trish Ramirez: This story isn’t about Danielle Willard. It is about a willing participant in a crime who was driving while her boy friend was shooting police officers. This suspect will get her day in court, will be defended by a competent attorney, and thereafter will be judged by a jury.

      Perhaps she will be more particular about the friends she picks some day in the future if she ever gets out of prison.

      • Trish Ramirez

        Bob, this story is a direct reflection of the double standard in our society, in which police officers are above the laws they are supposed to uphold. For a state full of people who say they want the Constitution upheld, do you really believe the right to due process guaranteed in this country was intended to give stooges in uniforms the right to kill American citizens for misdemeanor infractions without benefit of a judge, jury or even a citation?

        Do you really believe our Founding Fathers intended for the citizens of this country to be policed to the extent that they are today?

        Of course not.

        This country was founded on the principles of individual rights and liberty, not the idea that every single action that a person could conceivably take on a given day needs to be legislated. We are supposed to have citizen militias, not government employed police officers enforcing arbitrary laws.

        This case IS about the Danielle Willard case because EVERY citizen should have the same expectation of justice in this nation. It shouldn’t be reserved for cops.

    • Really?

      Besides: Willard did not open her doors or roll down her windows, and she tried to ram an officer. A vehicle can be considered a deadly weapon, which allows police to reasons with deadly force…

      • Trish Ramirez

        The DA found that the cop’s story did not add up and that they had no excuse to use deadly force on Danielle. Not rolling down your window is not a capital offense, is it?

        Even if it were, since when do cops get to mete out the death penalty to American citizens who have not only not been convicted of a crime by a jury of their peers, but who haven’t even been charged?

  • rob

    she needs to stay locked up for life officer wife and kids have to live without her husband. and kids have no father she is guilty. As hell

  • Silas

    Did I get this right, was SHE driving? If I was a hostage, forced to drive, I would make sure to wreck that vehicle before some else could get hurt. There is no way the chase would have even gotten out of Eagle Mountain let alone all the way to Nephi. IF she was driving the she is definitely involved and not a hostage or a victim.

    • Mark

      Not only was she driving but when they crashed the truck she ran, unassisted and without a gun to her head, to another vehicle and was accessory to the car-jacking that ensued. She then drove her loser boyfriend further away to attempt to get away. Later she steered the vehicle toward other vehicles in attempt to crash into them (hopefully they are adding aggravated assault charges for those actions). At the end of it all she got upset with officers for shooting that loser in the head. She has no excuses, she is 100 percent as guilty as her dead lover.

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