Grunwald’s age taken into account as she begins serving prison sentence

Posted at 6:37 PM, Jul 31, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-31 22:14:05-04

SALT LAKE CITY — An 18-year-old convicted of her role in the murder of a Utah County Sheriff’s deputy has begun serving her sentence at the state prison.

In response to a request from FOX 13, the Utah Department of Corrections released a prison mug shot of Meagan Grunwald. The teen has begun serving a 30-to-life sentence for the murder of Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Cory Wride and the wounding of Deputy Greg Sherwood during a chase in 2014.

A prison mug shot of Meagan Grunwald (courtesy Utah Dept. of Corrections)

A prison mug shot of Meagan Grunwald (courtesy Utah Dept. of Corrections)

Grunwald is currently undergoing a new inmate orientation process, which can take 4-6 weeks. A prison spokeswoman told FOX 13 that once that is completed, Grunwald will be assigned housing. Her age will be taken into consideration when making a housing assignment, Corrections spokeswoman Brooke Adams said.

The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole said Friday no hearing date has been scheduled for Grunwald, the first chance she could have to ask for release. At a minimum, it could be 30 years before she has a chance to seek parole.

Grunwald’s attorneys have asked for a new trial, claiming the judge made comments that revealed a bias when she was sentenced. Prosecutors said Grunwald was 17 when she and her boyfriend, 27-year-old Jose Angel Garcia-Jauregui, encountered Sgt. Wride on a roadside in Eagle Mountain.

Even though she did not pull the trigger, prosecutors said she was culpable because she drove the getaway car in a high-speed chase that stretched from Eagle Mountain to Nephi. Her lawyers argued that she was a hostage forced to drive the car or Garcia-Jauregui would kill her and her family.

Utah has no aiding and abetting statute, so under the law Grunwald could be charged with aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder, among other charges. She was convicted by a jury after a lengthy trial.

At sentencing, Sgt. Wride’s widow, Nannette, forgave Grunwald and said she would be at the young woman’s parole hearings in the future cheering for her to turn her life around.