A jury found Meagan Grunwald guilty for aggravated murder on Saturday, the 9th of May 2015. A long trial ended with the Utah teenager possibly facing a sentence of life imprisonment on July 18, without the possibility of parole. She does not run the risk of being sentenced to death penalty, because she was a minor when the murder occurred.
In January 2014, Grunwald helped her 27-year-old boyfriend, Jose Angel Garcia-Jauregui, go on a 50-mile crime spree which left Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Cory Wride dead and injured Deputy Greg Sherwood. He eventually died as well during the shootout with the police. Meagan Grunwald was arrested and charged as an accomplice to murder. She was 17 years old at the time and madly in love with her much older boyfriend. When questioned during the trial, she said that she was too afraid to stop the car because Garcia-Jauregui had gun-threatened to kill her and her family. The trial lasted two weeks and among the people who testified, there were Deputy Greg Sherwood, who was shot in the head and a woman whose car was forcibly taken by the two. Meagan Grunwald spoke in her own defense, saying that she was terrified and was in the car with Garcia-Jauregui against her will.
Nevertheless, the prosecutors regarded her testimony as inconsistent and stated that the only person who could back up her story is dead.
At the time, Garcia-Jauregui had an arrest warrant on his name and gave a false identity to Sgt. Cory Wride, who asked them to pull over to the side of the road. When he grew suspicious, Garcia-Jauregui shot him through the window and Grunwald, who was behind the wheel of the truck drove away. When Deputy Sherwood caught up with their car, she helped her boyfriend shoot him in the head by narrowing the gap between the two vehicles.
During the trial, prosecutor Sam Pead said that she was very determined not to let anything come between her and the man she loved. However, Grunwald’s lawyer, Dean Zabriskie, argued that she was just a scared young girl who was manipulated by a shrewd man who threatened her.
Grunwald’s charges include aggravated murder and robbery, felony discharge of a firearm with serious bodily injury, possession or use of a controlled substance and failure to respond to an officer’s signal to stop.
Late Sergeant Cory Wride’s family are happy that justice was made and that someone was finally held accountable for such an unjustified murder.
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