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Prosecutors release details on murder charges against teen

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Posted at 12:53 PM, Feb 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-19 14:59:25-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- More was revealed Wednesday about the charges a 17-year-old girl faces in connection to a deadly shooting in Utah County.

Meagan Dakota Grunwald faces 17 charges, mostly felonies, including aggravated murder, attempted murder and obstruction of justice.  Prosecutors say she drove her boyfriend as he opened fire on police.

Prosecutors from Utah and Juab Counties clarified why they are charging Grunwald with more than a dozen felonies including aggravated murder, and why they are not filing this as a capital case.

"This is aggravated murder, and she's 17 years old, and so this is not a capital case," acting Utah County Attorney Tim Taylor said. "A capital case is a death penalty case. In Utah, and across the nation, an individual under the age of 18 is not eligible for the death penalty. So this is not a death penalty case, however, the maximum penalty associated with aggravated murder could be life without the possibility of parole."

Prosecutors said this is not about vengeance, but simply them seeking justice. They said even though Grunwald is still technically a juvenile, they allege she was an active and willing participant in the deadly crime spree on Jan. 30 that killed Utah County Sgt. Cory Wride and wounded Utah County Deputy Greg Sherwood.

"We've charged her with regards to aiding and abetting, so an accessory to the crime," Taylor said. "Under Utah statute an individual who aides and assists another individual can be equally responsible for committing the crime."

Grunwald remains behind bars on a $1 million cash only bond. Her first court appearance is set for Monday morning in Provo.