Suspect in Utah Co. deputy’s death pleads not guilty

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PROVO -- A 17-year-old girl who was allegedly involved in the fatal shooting of a Utah County Sheriff's sergeant and the wounding of a deputy pleaded not guilty Monday morning.

Meagan Dakota Grunwald is charged with several felonies in connection with the death of Sgt. Cory Wride, the wounding of deputy Greg Sherwood and shooting at several other officers during a high speed chase that stretched from Eagle Mountain to Nephi in late January.

Prosecutors allege her boyfriend, 27-year-old Jose Angel Garcia-Jauregui, shot the officers. But Grunwald faces the charges as an accomplice, deputy Utah County Attorney Sam Pead said in April.

Prosecutors said they have overwhelming evidence to show Grunwald was behind the wheel and aided Garcia-Jauregui by carjacking an SUV and evading police. Garcia-Jauregui was shot and killed by officers.

Dean Zabriskie, Grunwald's defense attorney, said Grunwald was not a willing participant in the shootings and ensuing police chases.

"She was forced to do it. There'll be testimony offered if this matter goes to trial that that gun was turned on her on more than one occasion," Zabriskie said. "[H]er choices were reduced to either comply or give up her own life and then things just spun out of control."

The charges levied against Grunwald include murder, aggravated murder, discharge of firearms, obstructing justice, criminal mischief, accident involving property damage, aggravated robbery, possession or use of a controlled substance and failure to stop at command of police.

Grunwald is due back in court on June 2 for a scheduling conference.

9 comments

  • Cartman

    “Boyfriend”…..”not a willing participant.”

    She had a 27 year old gang-banger boyfriend. She was a willing participant.

    Daddy issues!

  • Bob

    She was the one doing the driving, and after being shot her boyfriend wanted to say goodbye to her. Not even her lawyer believes she wasn’t a willing participant.

    When you associated with trash like she did you have to expect it to rub off on you.

    • Bob

      Trish, you yourself don’t even believe the tripe you’re trying to sell us. You are trying to flim flam us, knowing full well that you would be the first in line to beg for a police officer’s help if your life was hanging in the balance.

      And no, the decent majority of our society don’t buy what you’re trying to sell.

      • Trish Ramirez

        Sigh, Bob.

        Apparently I have a fox13now troll.

        The above post wasn’t really me.

        That being said, I don’t think they should be charging this girl with Murder.

        She didn’t pull the trigger.

        She deserves to pay for the crimes she DID commit, not the ones she didn’t.

      • Hope you learned your lesson...

        Trish, that troll is Karma for messing with the brotherhood. Police/fire/EMS put up with a lot of stuff to keep everyone alive and safe. We do not need people like you calling us thugs for doing our job. Remember, the criminals put themselves in that position (doing drugs in a car is a crime, as will as attacking someone in court). You do not get shot at, theateened, spit at, and yelled at in your job. So please refrain your ignorant opinion until you walk a day in a cops shoes…

  • Bob

    “You’re not going to let me kiss my girl with my last dying breath?” Garcia-Jauregui asked police after they handcuffed him on Interstate 15 in Juab County.

    “For her part, the teen, Meagan Dakota Grunwald, was upset at police for wounding Garcia-Jauregui.” “You f—ing shot him!” she yelled at the officers while she laid on the ground at the officers’ command.

    No doubt about it, Grunwald was not a willing participan. Over eager would be a better description.

  • rob

    I no this girl very well she was dating him for a while she is 100percent guilty. they had a plan to go to another state so they could live together becuse her parents did not want him at there place her parents let her use there car if she gets off the system. Is very wrong

  • Bob

    The name of the game is “Let’s Play Plea Bargin”. Grunwald pleads “not guilty”, and her attorney says to the prosecutor “your move”.

    The only question now is how many years will Grunwald serve? It is a delicate dance, and the prosecutor holds all the cards.

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