Meagan Grunwald sentenced in deputy’s murder

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PROVO, Utah -- Meagan Grunwald, convicted for her role in the murder of a Utah County Sheriff's deputy and the shooting of another, will have a chance of being released from prison one day.

At the end of a long and emotional sentencing hearing on Wednesday afternoon, 4th District Court Judge Darold McDade sentenced the 18-year-old Grunwald to serve 25 years-to-life in prison with the chance of parole. He added another 5-to-life for other charges, bringing the total to 30-to life.

"I'm very sorry for any pain or loss I have caused," Grunwald sobbed as she spoke to the judge. "I do regret all of my actions."

The sentence came at the request of Sgt. Cory Wride's family, who offered moving statements of forgiveness.

"You are forgiven," Sgt. Wride's widow, Nannette, cried as she spoke to Grunwald. "Sweet girl, I hope one day you can forgive yourself."

Grunwald was convicted by a jury earlier this year in the murder of Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Cory Wride and the wounding of Deputy Greg Sherwood. Wride encountered Grunwald -- then 17 -- and her boyfriend, 27-year-old Jose Angel Garcia Jauregui, stopped along a roadside in Eagle Mountain on Jan. 30, 2014.

The defense claimed Grunwald had just learned that Garcia had a warrant out for his arrest, and that he killed Sgt. Wride and forced her to drive in a high-speed chase that spanned two counties and resulted in the shooting of Deputy Sherwood, a carjacking near Nephi and a shootout with police that ultimately ended with Garcia dead.

While prosecutors conceded that Grunwald never pulled the trigger, they said she was not a hostage as the defense had claimed. They said she was a willing accomplice, acting out of love and a desire to keep her relationship going.  Even though she did not pull the trigger, Grunwald faced aggravated murder because Utah law does not allow for aiding and abetting.

Others said she made those choices that put her in prison. Deputy Greg Sherwood, who was shot in the head, said she chose to help her boyfriend and escape from police.

"I would have protected her with all my energy. Instead, she made the choice to run," Deputy Sherwood told the judge.

Speaking to the court, he described being shot in the head and the long road to recovery he is on. He insisted he would not let the shooting ruin him -- but asked for justice.

Kathy Wride, Sgt. Wride's mother, asked Judge McDade to give Grunwald a chance at parole, telling him: "I believe in second chances."

Other members of the Wride family echoed that sentiment. Sgt. Wride's widow, Nannette, spoke about how her life was shattered by her husband's murder. She spoke directly to Grunwald, saying that if she was in trouble, all the teen needed to do was ask Cory Wride for help when he asked if she was OK.

Nannette Wride asked for parole and said she would be at Grunwald's parole hearings -- rooting for the teen to turn her life around. As she finished speaking to the judge, Nannette Wride smiled briefly at Grunwald. The teen appeared to be crying.

Judge McDade had two options: life without the possibility of parole, or 25-to-life in prison with the chance of parole.

"Your actions contributed to the death of a very good man," the judge told Grunwald.

He told Grunwald he believes she is a victim, "but not in the way you look at it."

Outside court, Grunwald's defense attorney, Dean Zabriskie, said he was grateful for the words of the Wride family. Asked how Grunwald viewed her sentence, he told FOX 13: "She's devastated."

Grunwald is expected to appeal her conviction, Zabriskie said.

 

11 comments

  • laker66641010

    i’ll never understand how someone who didn’t pull the trigger can be found guilty of murder…but then again, common sense isn’t necessarily a part of the legal system sometimes.

    • ANOTHERBOB

      When two men rob a bank, one to drive the get-away car and the other to go inside the bank, and somebody gets shot the law always views both men equally for the crime.

      It isn’t necessary for you to understand the law LAKER66641010. The judge does.

  • Jeff Krogue

    Not really an excuse but I don’t think she would have been involved in a murder if it weren’t for getting mixed up with the 27 year old guy. Sentence seems a bit harsh, I don’t know if it was because they didn’t have the opportunity to punish the shooter.

  • ANOTHERBOB

    Too bad her lawyer didn’t encourage her to accept the plea bargain. She was only looking at 15 plus 5. Now she got 25 plus 5 to life.

  • gina glasmann

    Wow I feel sorry for her and that beautiful woman one of the most amazing person to live Mrs, Wride !! I know God will bless all involved…my prayers are with you all!!

  • capsaicinone

    She’ll be out in 15-20. She’s rather young and stupid but she didn’t pull the trigger. Some judge reviewing her case will take pitty on her after she’s done the better part of her time.

    • ANOTHERBOB

      No, the sentence is exactly what it says it is; A minimum 30 years before she is eligible for parole.

  • Anna Ray

    Mrs Wride and Sgt Wride’s mom moved me to tears. Very amazing the amount of forgiveness they have in their hearts.

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