Meagan Grunwald seeks new trial, claims court was biased

Posted at 7:14 PM, Jul 27, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-28 09:09:51-04

UTAH COUNTY — Meagan Grunwald, convicted for her role in the murder of a Utah County Sheriff’s deputy and the shooting of another, has requested the courts she be given a new trial.

According to court documents filed July 17, Grunwald asserts that the court’s comments at sentencing infringed upon her right to a fair trial, as those comments demonstrate the court was not impartial and operated under a bias from outside the proceedings of the case.

“Grunwald asserts that these errors and improprieties had a substantial adverse effect upon her rights,” the documents state.

Grunwald was convicted by a jury earlier this year in the murder Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Cory Wride and the wounding of Deputy Greg Sherwood.

Grunwald, now 18, was sentenced to serve 25 years-to-life in prison with the chance of parole. He added another 5-to-life for other charges, bringing the total to 30-to life.

On Jan. 30, 2014, Wride encountered Grunwald, then 17, and her boyfriend, 27-year-old Jose Angel Garcia Jauregui, stopped along a roadside in Eagle Mountain.

The defense claimed Grunwald had just learned that Garcia had a warrant out for his arrest, and that he killed Sgt. Wride and forced her to drive in a high-speed chase that spanned two counties and resulted in the shooting of Deputy Sherwood, a carjacking near Nephi and a shootout with police that ultimately ended with Garcia dead.

While prosecutors conceded that Grunwald never pulled the trigger, they said she was not a hostage as the defense had claimed. They said she was a willing accomplice, acting out of love and a desire to keep her relationship going.  Even though she did not pull the trigger, Grunwald faced aggravated murder because Utah law does not allow for aiding and abetting.

Because the motion must be accompanied by affidavits or evidence to support the claim, Grunwald also asked the court to postpone a hearing on this motion to allow her time to gather evidence and transcripts to establish her claim.

Court documents indicate Grunwald has obtained a partial transcript from sentencing and has requested transcripts from the trial and the full sentencing transcript.