Judge orders girl to stand trial for aggravated murder in Utah County deputy's death
"This is a hard case. We don't have mind-reading machines. Ultimately the issue is going to be motive. Was it a motivation based on compulsion? Was it a motivation based on love, loyalty, a desire to protect? That's what it's going to come down to," he said. "So it's a question of the inferences that come from the hard evidence versus what is likely her taking the stand."
But Pead believes there's enough evidence in the videos — particularly during the times Grunwald and Garcia-Juaregui were recorded running outside their vehicle in Nephi before a woman was carjacked and after they crashed on I-15 at the end of the chase — to show Grunwald had opportunities to escape from her boyfriend, but didn't.
"If a picture paints a thousand words, then a video paints a million," he said. "Are those actions reasonable for the claims that are being suggested? Our argument would obviously be, no, they're not."
Now that the case has been bound over for an arraignment on May 12, both prosecutors and defense attorneys said they're open to potential plea deal discussions. Pead said he recognized that one of the difficulties of the case is the girl's age and the potential serious sentence she faces if convicted.
"This is a difficult case. And when I say difficult I don't just mean evidentiary-wise. I mean in terms of the emotions, the families," he said.
Grunwald's attorneys tried to keep their client in good spirits. She could be seen laughing and smiling with them as they waited for a decision about whether she would be ordered to stand trial. But Zabriske said his client is "traumatized" over potentially standing trial now for aggravated murder.
Her family, some in tears, left the courtroom Thursday without saying anything to reporters.
Wride's family, including his parents, widow, children and siblings, also declined comment Thursday. But family spokesman Johnny Revill said the family felt "relief" that the case is headed to trial.
"We're confident as a family that justice will be served," he said.
Revill said families on "all sides" were having a hard time with everything that has happened. He thanked the community for their continued support, including the fundraisers and donations that have been made to Wride's newly established foundation.
When asked what the family thought about a 17-year-old potentially being sent to prison without the possibility of parole, Revill said they'd leave judgment and the sentence to the court system.
But he added: "I think the prosecutor said it best when he said a lot of times actions speak louder than words. We all make decisions and there's consequences to those decisions."
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam
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