Graphic video shows 7 shots fired without warning, killing deputy

Thursday is day 2 of preliminary hearing for Meagan Grunwald

Published: Wednesday, April 16 2014 1:50 p.m. MDT

Meagan Grunwald listens to testimony during her preliminary hearing in Judge Darold McDade's courtroom in Provo, Wednesday, April 16, 2014.

Al Hartmann

PROVO — The video is violent and disturbing, both in sight and sound.

Graphic footage from the dashboard camera of Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Cory Wride's patrol vehicle that recorded his final moments on the day he was shot and killed was publicly shown for the first time Wednesday in 4th District Court.

The quick shots — seven of them — can be heard striking the hood of Wride's patrol car and breaking through the windshield as the suspects are seen driving away.

A sound is heard after the shots are fired, possibly Wride's last gasp, testified Sgt. Scott Finch with the Utah County Attorney's Office Bureau of Investigations.

Six dash cam videos from officers highlighted the first day of a scheduled three-day preliminary hearing for Meagan Grunwald, a 17-year-old Draper girl charged in adult court with 10 felonies and two misdemeanors for her alleged role in Wride's killing.

The collection of videos outlined the 50-mile deadly crime spree Grunwald and her boyfriend, Jose Angel Garcia-Juaregui, 27, allegedly committed on Jan. 30 through two Utah counties. The spree left Wride dead, another deputy critically injured when he was shot in the head, a mother and her 3-old son on the side of the road after being carjacked at gunpoint, multiple wrecked vehicles along the freeway, and more than a half-dozen people traumatized from being fired upon.

Garcia-Juaregui was shot in the head by pursuing police officers at the end of the chase and died the next day.

Grunwald, who police say was the getaway driver for most of the events, is charged with aggravated murder, two counts of felony discharge of a firearm with serious bodily injury, two counts of attempted aggravated murder, and aggravated robbery, all first-degree felonies, among other charges.

During cross-examination Wednesday, defense attorney Dean Zabriskie got several officers to concede that the one thing they couldn't see throughout the ordeal was what was happening inside the suspects' fleeing vehicles. He suggested that his client was victimized by Garcia-Juaregui and was not a willing participant in the shootings.

"That is exactly what we're trying to bring out. We have a 17-year-old girl — admittedly they had a close relationship — who's now locked in a truck with a lunatic shooting everything and everywhere he can," Zabriske said after the hearing. "The fact is we look at her as a victim. I don't want anyone here to think we condone what happened. A brave young man is now dead. Another one was horribly wounded. We feel very bad about that. What we're trying to prove, though, is that she didn't have anything to do with that."

But prosecutors contend Grunwald was a willing participant who had multiple chances to run away from her armed boyfriend, but didn't. What's unique about this case, according to deputy Utah County attorney Sam Pead, is the abundance of dash cam video supporting the state's case.

"Certainly it's one of those circumstances where we would say actions speak louder than words," he said. "It does give us an objective picture of what was going on. It also verifies it beyond any doubt."

Grunwald's hands and feet were shackled as she sat next to her attorneys Wednesday and listened to the proceedings. It appeared that she did not look at the video screen when the dash cam from Wride's vehicle was played in court.

"She did once. Then she asked if it would be all right if she could just look down. We told her, 'Sooner or later you're going to have to look at it,' so she looked back up," Zabriske said.

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