PROVO, Utah (ABC4) – It’s over and there will be no new trial for Meagan Grunwald.
Grunwald is serving a possible life sentence at the Utah state prison for her involvement in a police shooting in 2014.
Grunwald was the getaway driver. Her boyfriend, Angel Garcia-Juaregui, was the shooter and died in a gun battle with law enforcement in Juab County.
But the case was appealed, and last year, the Utah Supreme Court overturned the conviction, stating the judge failed to provide a jury instruction that they could find her guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter. They ordered a new trial.
Last week, the Utah County attorney filed new charges against Grunwald. This time, Grunwald was charged with manslaughter and aggravated assault of a police officer. Previous charges in which Grunwald is currently serving prison time were also included.
On the same day, Grunwald appeared in court through a video link and pleaded guilty to the two new charges. Both were second degree felonies.
Sgt. Wride’s widow, Nannette Wride-Zeeman, said she was aware of the plea negotiations and she and her children agreed to the plea deal.
“It was overwhelming that we wanted to plea bargain with her,” Wride-Zeeman said. “Mostly because we didn’t want to go through another murder trial.”
Wride-Zeeman was present during last weeks arraignment hearing for Grundwald.
She said she closely watched and listened to Grunwald’s admission of guilty.
“She was part of murdering a good police officer and assaulting another police officer who almost lost his life, and his life is not the same and I think she takes that lightly,” Wride-Zeeman said.
In her statement to the court, Grunwald said she “intentionally aided” her boyfriend, was “reckless” in offering help, and after the shootings, “continued to drive … to elude police.”
Wride-Zeeman didn’t get a feeling of remorse coming from Grunwald. But she will accept it.
“My bottom line was I wanted her to say she was guilty and she said it, even though she didn’t mean it,” Wride-Zeeman said.
Grunwald has been in prison since 2015. The new conviction could lessen the time she was to serve in prison. Manslaughter and aggravated assault on a police officer are second degree felonies with a possible sentence of one-to-15 years in prison.
Grunwald will be sentenced June 21.