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Meagan Grunwald was sentenced to 30 years to life with the chance for parole for her convictions of aggravated murder and aggravated robbery July 8, 2015.
Grunwald was convicted on May 9 on 11 of 12 charges brought by the state, which included aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder, felony discharge of a firearm and aggravated robbery, all first-degree felonies. Grunwald was accomplice to Jose Angel Garcia-Jauregui in a several-hours-long crime spree that resulted in the death of Utah County Sherriff’s Sgt. Cory Wride and major injury of Deputy Greg Sherwood.
“My husband asked you three times if you were OK. You could have just looked at him, and he would have known,” Nannette Wride, Sgt. Wride’s widow, said to Grunwald while addressing Judge Darold McDade. “He would have taken a bullet for you. But instead he took two for you, not knowing he would get them.”
Grunwald’s attorney, Dean Zabriskie, said the “one-fits-all” appearance of law was wrong because it disregards unique circumstances. Zabriskie then detailed examples of Grunwald’s character and her family background.
“We don’t offer her situation to distract from the horror that they and their families have been exposed to,” Zabriskie said. “By the same token, as I read through the material that was submitted to the court … it appeared to me that there was a singular disregard to the fact that she, too, was a human being.”
Zabriskie claimed that Grunwald had several life disadvantages. He claimed that Grunwald had learning disabilities that required things to be read to her in school.
Zabriskie also made note of her difficult family circumstances. He claimed that both of her parents were brain-damaged and raised her in “abject poverty.” He reminded the court of testimonies from police officers that domestic violence was prominent in the home.
Grunwald offered an apology in a written statement read to the judge.
“It’s hard for me to ask for forgiveness when I don’t know if I can forgive myself,” Grunwald said. “I am very sorry … I regret all my actions.”
Nannette Wride said she had forgiven Grunwald. Wride also said she also understood what it was like to experience abusive relationships, admitting that her marriage previous to Sgt. Wride was abusive. She also said she believed Sgt. Wride had forgiven Grunwald as well.
Nannette Wride said she heard the voice of her husband tell her, “Whatever you do, don’t be mad.”
“You are forgiven, and I hope, sweet girl, that you can forgive yourself,” Nannette Wride said.
Kathy Wride, Sgt. Wride’s mother, said her experience as a mother and an educator taught her that young people make mistakes.
“She is young. But by law she must now pay the penalty for those actions. I believe 25 years with the possibility of parole is an appropriate sentence,” she said. “I also believe in second chances.”
Members of the Wride family, including Nannette Wride, said they plan to attend Grunwald’s parole hearings to see if she truly rehabilitates.
Judge McDade said he had previously convicted Garcia-Jauregui on an attempted murder charge and that Grunwald wasn’t able to see Garcia-Jauregui for who he was.
“I think you are a victim. But not in the way you look at it,” McDade said.
Grunwald’s 25-year sentence for aggravated murder and five-year sentence for aggravated robbery will run consecutively. Deputy District Attorney Sam Pead said her current time of 525 days served so far satisfied the misdemeanor convictions.