Court asked to keep teen arrested in deputy's death locked up longer
PROVO — Prosecutors say it could be another three weeks before they consider filing charges against a 17-year-old girl who was arrested in connection with the shooting death of a Utah County sheriff's sergeant.
On Jan. 30, Sgt. Cory Wride, 44, was shot and killed in Eagle Mountain after stopping to help what he thought was a stranded motorist. The ensuing chase between the two suspects and multiple police agencies stretched over 50 miles through two Utah counties, resulted in the shooting of a second deputy, shots being fired at four different locations, a carjacking, and ultimately a shootout with police that resulted in the death of Jose Angel Garcia-Juaregui, 27.
The teenage girl is suspected of driving the car during the crime spree with Garcia-Juaregui and was taken into custody. She was not injured in the shootings.
The teen has been held in a juvenile detention facility in Provo since that day while investigators determine whether she played an active role in the incidents or if she was being held hostage by Garcia-Juaregui.
The girl's name had not been released, nor have investigators talked about her connection to Garcia-Juaregui.
Deputy Utah County attorney Chris Yannelli on Wednesday filed a motion in 4th District Juvenile Court requesting that the 17-year-old be held in the detention facility for an additional three weeks while his office continues to comb through the evidence and determine what, if any, charges to file.
"I've asked for an additional period of 21 days, which would include amassing the evidence and filing charges at that time," he said.
Because of the extensive crime scene and the number of witnesses that need to be interviewed and medical reports that need to be studied, Yannelli said it is impossible to review it all in the standard time it normally takes.
According to the request for detention, the teen is being held as "a suspect in several pending felonies," Yannelli said. He declined, however, to specify which felonies she could face.
A juvenile court judge is expected to decide Friday whether to grant the extension.
Last week, Utah County Sheriff Jim Tracy said detectives were not certain whether the teen or Garcia-Juaregui shot Wride and deputy Greg Sherwood. Investigators planned to enhance video from Wride's patrol car dashboard camera to help determine that.
Yannelli said Thursday, however, it appears that Garcia-Juaregui was the person who shot Wride.
"At this point it doesn't appear that (the girl) was the shooter. It appears that she was the driver of the car," he said, while noting that video evidence still needs to be reviewed.
Once the investigation is completed and the Utah County Attorney's Office determines what charges are appropriate, Yannelli said his office will also decide whether to seek to have her certified to stand trial as an adult.
A funeral for Wride was held Wednesday, the same day that Sherwood underwent successful surgery to remove a bullet from his head. Police say they expect he will go home soon.
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