Meagan Grunwald seeks new trial, claims court was biased

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UTAH COUNTY — Meagan Grunwald, convicted for her role in the murder of a Utah County Sheriff’s deputy and the shooting of another, has requested the courts she be given a new trial.

According to court documents filed July 17, Grunwald asserts that the court’s comments at sentencing infringed upon her right to a fair trial, as those comments demonstrate the court was not impartial and operated under a bias from outside the proceedings of the case.

“Grunwald asserts that these errors and improprieties had a substantial adverse effect upon her rights,” the documents state.

Grunwald was convicted by a jury earlier this year in the murder Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Cory Wride and the wounding of Deputy Greg Sherwood.

Grunwald, now 18, was sentenced 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.

On Jan. 30, 2014, Wride encountered Grunwald, then 17, and her boyfriend, 27-year-old Jose Angel Garcia Jauregui, stopped along a roadside in Eagle Mountain.

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.

Because the motion must be accompanied by affidavits or evidence to support the claim, Grunwald also asked the court to postpone a hearing on this motion to allow her time to gather evidence and transcripts to establish her claim.

Court documents indicate Grunwald has obtained a partial transcript from sentencing and has requested transcripts from the trial and the full sentencing transcript.

 

9 comments

  • JACK JOHNSON

    The judge bent over backwards to protect her rights before and during the trial. Her problem was the evidence proving her guilt.

  • miles (dave)

    did i understand this right?… that utah dose not have a punishment for aiding and abetting so no one can get convicted for it. so instead she is on trial for aggravated murder instead.

    if thats the case then that is not ok i dont see how she can be convicted of murder if she did not murder anyone. after all she may honestly not have been willing or able to kill those cops directly. i think she needs to pay for her place in the crime but she should only pay for HER part in the crime, and her part in the crime should be recognized and named correctly and only a fitting punishment should be given.

    some may not like the U.S. criminal system and i dont think its perfect but i still love it. it is built on the idea of being as fair as is reasonable, because our forefathers knew it wasnt ok to be convicted of something they didnt do.

    i just think if someone is going to have a criminal record and that person will be treated by some according to her crime that it takes a different kind of person to kill someone than it takes to help transport the killer, and the treatment of that person would and should be different too.

    • bob

      As a general rule, Utah law does consider aiding and abetting murder to be the same as pulling the trigger. Many states share that view. So do I.

      I’m not convinced that she was such a willing participant as the prosecution says she was, but the JURY saw otherwise, and they know a lot more than I do.

      But leaving aside the merits of her particular case, I see no difference between knowing aiding and abetting a crime and being the actual trigger man. “Murder” is knowingly acting in a way that you INTEND to lead to a person’s death. It is not necessary being the actual instrument of that death.

      Consider this, Miles: Hitler never personally killed anyone. Neither did Heinrich Himmler. Nor did Adolph Eichmann. Nor did the Commandant of Auschwitz. Were they murderers?

      • miles (dave)

        bob

        you make some really good points, thanks. however i still feel slightly un-easy about the idea of being found guilty of a crime you didnt do (unless she knew what was going to happen)… now i have some family who is doing prison time for a crime this person actually may have not done (even when i look at it i think this person may be innocent) however i dont feel a lot of pity for this person because they had it coming. i figure even if they didnt do it then this is pay back for all the dumb stuff leading up to the caused crime that they didnt get caught for. so i agree and like what ADIFFERENTBOB said when he said “That’s a good reason to pick your friends wisely.”

        to be honest i didnt do my due diligence in studying the case (i feel its strung out and i dont remember all the details from when it first happened and i didnt follow it closely) so i figured maybe it was a freak thing. i suppose i can make peace with it as long as she knew full well what was going to happen, then ya she is just as guilty.

  • ADIFFERENTBOB

    At law, an accomplice is a person who actively participates in the commission of a crime, even if they take no part in the actual criminal offense, which in this case was murder. In other words the driver of the get away car can be charged with murder when his partner kills a bank employee during a bank robbery.

    That’s a good reason to pick your friends wisely.

  • Mark Snuff

    So her Bonnie and Clyde fantasy didn’t pan out the way she wanted it to, so she’s going to milk the system/taxpayers as much as she can until she gets what she wants. What a piece of work. And of course, the BF’s not around anymore to tell his side so she’s blaming it all on him.

  • BOB

    “The story says “Grunwald also asked the court to postpone a hearing on this motion to allow her time to gather evidence and transcripts to establish her claim”. So why the rush to file the appeal in the first place? She has a long long time ahead of her to file all kinds of appeals.

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