SALT LAKE CITY – A teenage girl whose boyfriend shot and killed the sheriff’s sergeant in 2014 admitted to reducing charges after the Utah Supreme Court overturned her murder conviction last year.
Meagan Grunwald, 24, pleaded guilty earlier this month in Provo 4th District Court to manslaughter and aggravated assault against a peace officer, both second degree felonies.
A 2015 jury found her guilty of aggravated murder in the death of Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Cory Wride. Grunwald, who was 17 at the time of Wride’s death, was found responsible as an accomplice in the crimes of her boyfriend, Angel Garcia-Juaregui, 27.
She appealed and the Utah High Court ordered a new trial, in part because wrong jury instructions allowed conviction based on reckless actions, but the offense requires a higher standard of knowledge and behavior. intentional.
Grunwald remained in prison after being convicted of aggravated theft related to the car chase. The charge carries a prison sentence of at least five years and up to life behind bars.
She pleaded guilty to reducing charges on May 18, admitting that she helped Garcia-Juaregui by starting their car, putting her foot on the brake and watching the traffic as he crawled to the rear window with a pistol and had fired, killing Wride court documents say. Soon after, she slowed down when Utah County Sheriff’s Deputy Greg Sherwood was right behind the car, and Garcia-Juaregui fired again, hitting Sherwood in the head and causing fatal injuries and permanent.
Grunwald testified at trial that she pulled up on National Route 73 at Eagle Mountain that day because she and Garcia-Juaregui were arguing. Wride spotted the truck’s emergency lights and stopped to see if anyone in the truck needed assistance, then returned to his patrol vehicle to look up a false name Garcia-Juaregui had given him , prosecutors said.
Grunwald testified that her boyfriend told her to put his foot on the brake, opened the rear window and suddenly started pulling.
She faces one to 15 years in Utah State Prison on charges to which she has pleaded guilty. Sentencing is scheduled for June 21.