Teen accused in deputy’s murder back in court after rejecting plea deal

Posted at 1:19 PM, Feb 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-17 21:39:01-05

PROVO, Utah - The woman accused in the death of a Utah County Sheriff's Sergeant and the wounding of another deputy is back in court three months after rejecting a plea deal.

Investigators said last year Meagan Grunwald and her boyfriend, Jose Garcia Juaregui, led police on a two-hour chase through Utah and Juab counties.

During the chase, police said Juaregui shot and killed Utah County Sheriff Sgt. Cory Wride and also shot Deputy Greg Sherwood who survived.

Officers later shot and killed Juaregui.

Grunwald is accused of driving Juaregui during the deadly shootout.

Back in November, Grunwald's attorney, Dean Zabriskie, filed a notice in his client's defense stating that she was forced to take part by her much old and armed boyfriend.

"Whatever she did, whatever they think her participation was, it was the end result of her being threatened by him, more particularly, having a gun pointed at her during the entire episode," Zabriskie said.

Deputy Utah County Attorney Sam Pead said, "Her statements at the time of the events suggest a loyalty and love towards her boyfriend that does not support a contention of compulsion."

Prosecutors said Grunwald was very much in love with her boyfriend and have birthday cards and affectionate social media posts she wrote to support their argument.

The judge approved those as evidence Tuesday.

Cory Wride’s wife, Nannette, said she's grateful a jury will get to see that evidence.

"I think they were very much in our favor and I think everything will work out great," Nanette Wride said.

Now the defense is working to get a blood test indicating Grunwald was using meth thrown out of the case.

They argue a DUI check was not appropriate in this crime.

An evidentiary hearing has been set for March 13 to see if an affidavit filed for the blood test was appropriate.

Prosecutors said even if the blood test is thrown out, they believe they have enough evidence.

There was also a phone conversation between Garcia and his uncle the judge wants a better interpretation of before prosecution can use it as evidence.

The judge approved the prosecution's motion to use an incident where Garcia pulled out a gun during a fight between Grunwald and her father as evidence.

Grunwald rejected a plea deal back in November and is now facing a number of serious charges including aggravated murder.

Nanette Wride said she is hopeful justice will be served.

"I believe in the justice system and it's a system that my husband believed in and I think that justice will be served," she said.

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