17-year-old girl faces arraignment in connection with officer’s shooting death

Al Hartmann | POOL 17-year-old Meagan Grunwald, who has been charged as an adult in the shootings of two Utah deputies, makes her first appearance in Judge Darold McDade’s in Provo, Utah, on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014.

The 17-year-old girl who is being tried in connection with the death of a Utah County Sheriff’s officer will be arraigned Monday morning, May 12, in Provo’s 4th District Court.

Meagan Dakota Grunwald is charged with 12 criminal counts in connection with the shooting death of Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Cory Wride. An arraignment is a formal hearing where a defendant may enter a guilty or not guilty plea. Grunwald made her first appearance in court on Feb. 24.

According to court documents, Grunwald drove a pickup truck in the two-county chase as her 27-year-old boyfriend fired at the officers pursuing them, seriously injuring one and killing another on Jan. 30. Grunwald will be tried as an adult for aggravated murder and 12 other criminal counts. Grunwald will be tried with aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder, aggravated robbery and two counts of felony discharge of a firearm. Court documents showed urine tested positive for methamphetamine in her system.

Grunwald’s 27-year-old boyfriend was shot and wounded by police officers and taken into custody on I-15 in Juab county; he later died in a local hospital on Jan. 31. Grunwald and her boyfriend, José Angel Garcia-Jauregui, had been living together for several months before the shooting. Witnesses told police that Grunwald is pregnant with Garcia-Jauregui’s child and they planned to wed when she turned 18.

Grunwald was in the driver’s seat on the side of the road in a pickup truck registered to her family with her lights flashing when Wride pulled the truck over. He took Grunwald’s driver’s license, and Garcia-Jauregui gave Wride a fake name. According to court records, Grunwald left her foot on the brake and put her car in drive. Garcia-Jauregui shot seven rounds from the sliding back window, killing Wride.

Police believe Grunwald was still driving when they encountered Deputy Greg Sherwood in Santaquin. Prosecutors claim Grunwald purposefully used the brakes to close the distance between the truck and pursuing patrolman, allowing Garcia-Jauregui to continue shooting at the vehicle.

After the suspects ran the truck over road spikes, hijacking a truck and hitting more spikes, Garcia-Jauregui fled on foot toward another vehicle. The vehicle sped away, leaving Garcia-Jaruegui and Grunwald behind. Garcia-Jauregui pointed his gun at the pursuing County Sheriff’s deputies, and they opened fire on him, hitting him once in the head.

Grunwald is held on a $1 million cash bail. Though she is being tried as an adult, she is ineligible for the death penalty, being under 18. If convicted she faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

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