Victims call for justice and mercy for Meagan Grunwald

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Chris Detrick
Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune Meagan Grunwald reacts during her sentencing at 4th District Court in Provo Wednesday July 8, 2015. Eighteen-year-old Meagan Grunwald was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years to life in prison for being an accomplice to the murder last year of Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Cory Wride and the attempted murder of Deputy Greg Sherwood.

Deputy Greg Sherwood and the Wride family offered their forgiveness to Meagan Grunwald during her sentencing on July 8, despite the role she played in the death of Deputy Sgt. Cory Wride and the brain injury of Deputy Greg Sherwood.

“We have forgiveness for Meagan so that we can move forward,” Sherwood said. “I know someday that Meagan will face her Maker. She will be judged justly and mercifully according to her upbringing according to how she has lived and continues to live her life.”

Sherwood said he found peace in his faith. He said he knows the “big picture” includes judgment from God. He further explained the need for closure from the proceedings.

Sherwood was shot in the head by Jose Angel Garcia-Juaregui after he pulled over Grunwald and Garcia-Juaregui following a high-speed chase on Jan. 30, 2014. Earlier in the day, Garcia-Juaregui killed Wride as he sat in his patrol car after pulling over to help Grunwald and Garcia-Juaregui, who were stopped on the side of the road during a snowstorm.

Sherwood said he still suffers pain from his shot to the head and cannot currently work because of his injuries. He also listed the strain it has put on his family life. He made particular note of the effect on his 12-year-old son.

“Before, I was a very active person,” Sherwood said. “I was very rarely found sitting around the house.”

He said he hoped Grunwald’s sentence would be just.

“I wanted justice for Corey and his family,” Sherwood said. “I set out on a search for the people responsible for his death, and I found them.”

Blake Wride, the father of Sgt. Wride, said no action was “free” and that he would never find closure. But he offered his forgiveness.

“I, and we as a family, believe that she must receive the consequences for her actions,” Blake Wride said.

He reflected a sentiment that was shared by his wife, Kathy Wride, earlier in the sentencing: Grunwald deserved another shot at life.

“We feel at some point in her life … she will be given the opportunity for parole, that she have the chance at a new life that will hopefully include more positive experiences than she has had before in her young life,” Wride said.

Nannette Wride, Sgt. Wride’s widow, also expressed her desire to find closure through forgiveness.

She claimed she heard her husband’s voice speak to her after she learned the news of his death.

“All I could hear was Cory’s voice as clear as I could hear your voice if you were to speak right now, and it said, ‘Whatever you do, don’t be angry.'”

Chris Detrick
Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune Meagan Grunwald reacts as her attorney, Dean Zabriskie, speaks during her sentencing at 4th District Court in Provo Wednesday July 8, 2015. Eighteen-year-old Meagan Grunwald was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years to life in prison for being an accomplice to the murder last year of Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Cory Wride and the attempted murder of Deputy Greg Sherwood.

Nannette Wride told the court that the reason Sgt. Wride was on the road where Grunwald and Garcia-Juaregui were parked was to come home for lunch and start a ride-along with his son, with whom he had disagreed the night before. Wride fears for her son’s welfare because he feels he was somehow at fault for his father’s death.

But she still offered her forgiveness.

“I want you to know from the bottom of my heart that you were forgiven immediately from our family and from me and from Cory,” Nanette Wride said.“You are forgiven, and I hope, sweet girl, that you can forgive yourself.”

Many members of the Wride family said they plan to attend Grunwald’s parole hearings in the future.

Grunwald was convicted earlier this year on 11 of 12 charges that included aggravated murder and aggravated robbery. She was sentenced to 30 years to life with the chance for parole for those two charges on June 8. Garcia-Juaregui died from his wounds from a shootout with the police at the end of a several-hours-long crime spree.

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