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Murder conviction overturned for girlfriend of man who killed Utah County sergeant

Posted at 9:01 PM, Feb 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-21 23:53:56-05

PROVO, Utah — A woman who was convicted for murder after her boyfriend shot and killed Utah County Sgt. Cory Wride in 2014 will have a new trial.

In an opinion released Friday, the Supreme Court of the State of Utah reversed Meagan Grunwald's murder conviction, stating there were errors in the jury instructions for her trial.

Grunwald was 17 years old when her then-boyfriend, 27-year-old Jose Angel Garcia Juaregui, shot and killed Wride from inside Grunwald's truck. She then led police on a multi-county chase, during which Juaregui fired at more officers and ultimately was shot and killed by police.

Because Utah has no accomplice law, Grunwald was tried for multiple charges including murder and ultimately convicted in 2015.

Grunwald previously had other convictions involving the chase overturned, but until now was still considered guilty of aggravated murder and aggravated robbery.

But the court in its opinion released Friday wrote:

Because it is reasonably probable that the jury would not have convicted Ms. Grunwald of aggravated murder absent the jury instruction errors, we reverse her conviction and remand for a new trial with correct jury instructions.

Grunwald's aggravated robbery conviction, however, was not reversed; she is currently in prison serving a sentence of five years to life for the crime.

Read the full opinion here.