The trial for Meagan Grunwald, the teen charged with murder for being an accomplice in the death of a cop after going on a shooting spree with her boyfriend, began this week.
Utah teenager Meagan Grunwald appeared in a Provo, Utah court for the beginning of her trial. She has been charged with first-degree felony murder as an accomplice in the death of a police officer following a shootout with cops in 2014. Grunwald, now 18, was driving and Jose Angel Garcia-Jauregui was her passenger when they were pulled over and began shooting at a sheriff.
As Radar previously reported, after Garcia-Jauregui shot at the Sgt. Corey Wride, killing him, Grunwald sped away and then the couple carjacked another vehicle.
According to authorities, Grunwald's urine tested positive for methamphetamines and amphetamines, but her blood did not, meaning "Within the last 3 to 5 days, meth was consumed. The fact that it wasn't in the blood showed it wasn't recent usage.
Witness Chetney Williams testified that she saw Grunwald's truck pulled over (after Sgt. Wride had already been shot) and she stopped to offer to help when Garcia-Jauregui pointed a gun at her head. "I didn't take my eyes off of him after I saw that gun … He screamed 'Get out! Get out!' and I said, 'Can I please get my baby?'" She told the court that she barely had time to take her child out of the car before the couple sped away in her vehicle.
The couple led police officers on a chase at more than 100 m.p.h. and only stopped after driving over a spike strip. It was then that they exchanged fire with the large group of officers. Chief Deputy Al Taylor testified that Garcia-Jauregui sustained a shot in the forehead and Grunwald yelled at the officers: "You shot him in the head!"
Utah Highway Patrol Trooper John Sheets was the officer that placed Grunwald into custody in the back of his patrol vehicle and he testified about what she said. "She told me she would be shot and her family would be shot," he explained. Her defense attorney maintains that Grunwald was afraid of Garcia-Jauregui but the prosecutor claims they were a couple.
Deputy Greg Sherwood, who was shot in the head during the crime spree but survived, testified about Grunwald while his patrol car's dash cam video was played for the jury. "I got shot," he told them, choking back emotions, according to the Herald Extra. "You see two flickers from the camera. Two shots came through my windshield."
Since Grunwald was only 17 when the crime was committed she is not eligible for the death penalty if she is found guilty, but faces life behind bars. Grunwald's attorneys said during opening arguments that she is "a victim herself," as her attorneys said she was a victim at the hands of Garcia-Juaregui.
Grunwald's father Jerry Grunwald took the stand Monday, testifying that Garcia-Juaregui had pulled a gun on him weeks before the deadly shootout. He told the court: "I love my daughter, I still love her today; she won't talk to me, but I still love her."