The Justice Files: Meagan Grunwald to remain in prison

Justice Files

PROVO, Utah (ABC4) – Meagan Grunwald will spend at least two more years in prison.

But there’s a possibility it could be even longer.

In 2014, Grunwald was the driver and girlfriend of the man who shot and killed a Utah County sheriff deputy and wounded another deputy.

She was originally convicted of murder, but the Utah Supreme Court overturned the conviction in 2018.  The state’s highest court ruled the district court judge failed to provide the jury with the option of manslaughter during instructions.

Today, Judge Darold McDade apologized for having to bring back families of the victims for another sentencing.

Grunwald’s boyfriend Jose Garcia-Jauregui shot and killed Sgt. Kory Wride and wounded Deputy Greg Sherwood.

“I should have gotten out of the car and ran towards him but I was scared,” said Grunwald during Monday’s sentencing.

“I just didn’t know what would happen.”

Grunwald was 17-years old at the time and recently graduated from Riverton High School. Jauregui was shot and killed by a hail of bullets from police.

Grunwald survived and was convicted of murder, but the Utah supreme court overturned the sentence.

Last month, Grunwald avoided a new trial and pleaded guilty to manslaughter and an assault on a police officer.

“There’s nothing I can do,” Grunwald said Monday. “There’s nothing I can say to repair Sherwood’s life and bring Wride back.”

Sgt. Wride’s daughter was only 14 years old when her father was murdered.

“Meagan didn’t just take my dad’s life, but she took my entire childhood away,” said Kylie Larsen.  “Between juggling my grief and trauma and witnessing my mom experience the same, I learned to grow up very fast.”

Grunwald’s attorney asked that the two new charges run concurrent to her 2015 sentencing. In essence, Grunwald could have been released from prison immediately.

Wride’s mother and other family members were against that and wanted her to spend more time in prison.  

“She hasn’t shown any remorse,” said Kathy Wride. “She still feels like the victim. One day she will leave prison, but we will live this life sentence.

But Grunwald attempted to show all of the self-improvement programs she’s undertaken since her time in prison.

“All I can do is try and become a better person and become a good citizen.”

In the end, Judge McDade ordered Grunwald to spend more time in prison.  

She’s already served 7 1/2 years. This latest sentence tacks on at least two more years. But it will be up to the board of pardons to decide how much longer after those two years expire.

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