Meagan Grunwald was seventeen years old when she took part in a crime spree that would leave one police officer dead and another injured. According to court documents Meagan Grunwald was driving a car with her boyfriend Angel Garcia-Juaregui. Her boyfriend would start shooting at a police car who was trying to pull them over. One of the police officers would be struck in the head and the other officer was fatally injured. Angel Garcia-Juaregui would later die in a shootout with police. This teen killer tried to say she did not realise that the officers were shot however this was proven to be false in court. Meagan Grunwald would be sentenced to thirty years to life in prison
Meagan Grunwald 2020 Information
- Offender Number: 223233
- Offender Name: MEAGAN DAKOTA GRUNWALD
- DOB: Mon, 5 Aug 1996
- Height: 5 Feet 6 Inches
- Weight: 160
- Sex: F
- Location: UTAH STATE PRISON
- Housing Facility: TIMPANOGOS
- Parole Date: N/A
- MEAGAN DAKOTA GRUNWALD
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A young woman convicted in a 50-mile crime spree that left one Utah sheriff’s deputy dead and another wounded was sentenced Wednesday to 30 years to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
State Judge Darold McDade handed down 18-year-old Meagan Grunwald’s term following emotional testimony about the January 2014 chase from the injured lawman.
Utah County Sheriff’s Deputy Greg Sherwood told the judge that after he was shot in the head and fighting for his life in his police cruiser, Grunwald drove past him without stopping to help.
“She could have ran towards me, and I would have protected her with all my energy,” he said. “Instead, she made the choice to run.”
Grunwald cried during the hearing as she read quickly from a brief written statement.
“It’s hard for me to ask for forgiveness when I have a hard time forgiving myself,” she said.
Grunwald will get credit for the year and half she already has served behind bars in jail. At the earliest, she could be released in 2044, when she’s 47 years old.
Prosecutors said Grunwald was a willing accomplice ready to do anything to stay with her 27-year-old boyfriend, including driving a speeding getaway car in the three-county chase.
During her trial, the teenager tearfully told a jury she was afraid to stop driving when the man she loved turned the gun on her and threatened to kill her family.
The boyfriend, Jose Angel Garcia-Jauregui, was killed in a shootout with police.
Grunwald was convicted in May of 11 counts, including aggravated murder, attempted murder, aggravated robbery and use of a controlled substance. She was found not guilty on one count of attempted aggravated murder.
The maximum penalty Grunwald could have faced was life in prison without parole. She was ineligible for the death penalty because she was 17 when it happened.
She was charged and convicted under Utah laws that allow an accomplice to be considered equally responsible for a crime.
Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Cory Wride, 44, was killed during the crime spree.
Wride’s widow, Nannette, said his family wanted Grunwald to have a chance at parole because she’s young and might make something of herself.
“I’m going to be rooting for her to be someone better,” Nannette Wride told reporters.
Before Grunwald was sentenced, Wride addressed the crying teenager in court.
“You are forgiven, and I hope, sweet girl, that one day you can forgive yourself,” Wride said as Grunwald put her head down and sobbed.
The shootout and chase came after Cory Wride happened upon the couple’s pickup on the side of a road. Garcia-Jauregui had a warrant out for his arrest and gave the deputy a fake name. When Wride grew suspicious, Garcia-Jauregui stuck a gun out the truck’s rear window and shot the deputy as he sat in his police cruiser.
Grunwald’s lawyer said she was a scared girl who trusted an older, manipulative man. Attorney Dean Zabriskie said as the couple fled from police through three central Utah counties, Grunwald was driving with a gun to her head.
Zabriskie said Wednesday that Grunwald survived her time in the truck because Wride stopped to help her, and she considers him her savior.
“Now she wishes she would have done something,” he said. “She wishes she would have done something, even at the risk of her life.”
Zabriskie said Grunwald plans to appeal her conviction.
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A jury found a Utah teenager guilty Saturday in a 50-mile crime spree that left one sheriff’s deputy dead and another wounded.
Prosecutors say Meagan Grunwald, 18, was desperately in love with her much older boyfriend and would do anything to stay with him, including driving a speeding getaway car in the three-county chase. The teenager tearfully told a jury she was too afraid to stop driving when the man she loved turned the gun on her and threatened to kill her family.
The Provo jury of six women and two men began deliberating Friday afternoon. They returned with a verdict around 12.35 am, said court spokeswoman Nancy Volmer.
Grunwald faces a maximum of life in prison when she is sentenced 18 July in the January 2014 chase that also included a carjacking. Her boyfriend, 27-year-old Jose Angel Garcia-Jauregui, was killed in a shootout with police. Grunwald is ineligible for the death penalty because she was 17 when it happened.
Shea Wride, the 25-year-old son of slain Utah County Sheriff’s Sergeant Cory Wride, said he woke up Saturday morning after an overnight flight to Orlando and was “overwhelmed” to learn of the verdict after logging onto Facebook.
“It was the best possible news to wake up to,” he told the Associated Press. He said his family has been waiting months for this result and he’s relieved that Grunwald will finally be held accountable.
The two-week trial included testimony from a deputy shot in the head during the chase and a woman who pulled her child out of her car as it was stolen at gunpoint. Grunwald took the stand in her own defense, telling the jury that being in the car with Garcia-Jauregui was like looking at a devil.
But prosecutors sharply questioned her testimony, saying her story was rife with inconsistency and the only person who could refute it is dead.
The crime spree started after Wride happened upon the couple’s pickup pulled over to the side of the road on a snowy day. Garcia-Jauregui gave the deputy a fake name because he had a warrant out for his arrest. When Wride grew suspicious, Garcia-Jauregui stuck a gun out the truck’s window and shot him.
Grunwald drove away behind the wheel of the pickup, and prosecutors say that when another deputy caught up with them, she hit the brakes to close the distance between their vehicles so Garcia-Jauregui had a better shot when he fired again. Utah County Sheriff’s Deputy Greg Sherwood was hit in the head and survived.
“No obstacle is going to stop her from being with her man,” prosecutor Sam Pead said during closing arguments Friday.
But Grunwald’s lawyer denied that, saying she was a scared girl who had trusted a much older, manipulative man. When Garcia-Jauregui threatened her, she went on autopilot as she sped the pickup through three counties with a gun to her head, said attorney Dean Zabriskie.
“She is scared to death,” he said.
Grunwald was charged with a dozen counts, including aggravated murder, attempted murder, aggravated robbery and use of a controlled substance. She was found not guilty on one count, attempted aggravated murder.
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