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Teen charged as adult with deputy's death

Alleged getaway driver is pregnant with dead gunman's child, friends tell police

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 18 2014 4:30 p.m. MST

PROVO — A 17-year-old girl who allegedly drove her boyfriend as he shot and killed a sheriff's sergeant and later shot another deputy was charged Tuesday with the officer's death.

Meagan Dakota Grunwald, 17, of Draper, faces 12 felonies and two misdemeanors. She was charged as an adult with aggravated murder, a first-degree felony, for her alleged role in the death of Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Cory Wride.

She is also charged with attempted aggravated murder for the shooting of deputy Greg Sherwood, a second count of attempted aggravated murder for shots being fired at a Utah Highway Patrol trooper, and aggravated robbery for a carjacking in Nephi.

Some of the outstanding questions from the Jan. 30 crime spree through Utah and Juab counties included whether Grunwald was an active participant or was coerced by 27-year-old Jose Angel Garcia-Juaregui, whether the Riverton High School graduate would be charged as an adult, and what kind of relationship the two shared.

Prosecutors say Grunwald continued to follow and stay with Garcia-Juaregui even when "she had opportunities to get away or escape his control and seek the protection of officers." She also drove aggressively from officers, continued to evade police and did not render aid to Wride after he was shot, according to documents filed in 4th District Court.

Prosecutors filed charges against the teenager in adult court, based on the serious and violent nature of the crimes.

Relationship

Grunwald is pregnant with Garcia-Juaregui's child, according to friends, and had methamphetamine in her system during the incident, court documents state. The two had reportedly planned on getting married when she turns 18 in August and were going to move to Mexico, friends told investigators.

The two had lived together "for several months" at her mother's Draper home, according to an arrest warrant.

Witnesses also told police that Grunwald had been buying meth for Garcia-Juaregui. Prosecutors have not said whether they believe he was high on drugs during the shooting spree. When the suspects' pickup truck was searched by police, drug paraphernalia was found inside, the charges state.

During the climatic gun battle on I-15 where the rampage came to an end and Garcia-Juaregui was shot by Juab County sheriff's deputies, Grunwald said, "Come on, baby" while looking over at him lying on the ground, and appeared to be worried about his well-being, police wrote.

After he was shot, Garcia-Juaregui asked deputies: "You not going to let me kiss my girl with my last dying breath?"

Garcia-Juaregui died from his injuries the next day. The official cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma caused by a bullet that did not penetrate his skull but did cause swelling of the brain.

Grunwald was being held Tuesday in the Utah County Jail on $1 million bail. Her initial court hearing is scheduled for Monday.

The court documents filed Tuesday also reveal new details about the alleged crime spree.

Shootings

When Wride stopped to help the two suspects near Eagle Mountain about 1 p.m. on Jan. 30, he believed they were having car trouble. He went back and forth between his patrol car and the suspects' pickup truck three times trying to verify Garcia-Juaregui's identity.

Grunwald was driving the truck that was registered to her mother. Grunwald gave the sergeant her driver's license, but Garcia-Juaregui gave him a false name.

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