SALT LAKE CITY -- A teenage girl who Utah prosecutors say was the driver and a willing participant in a cross-county crime spree that left one deputy dead and another wounded was charged Tuesday with aggravated murder and other counts.
Meagan Grunwald, 17, of Draper was charged as an adult and could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted, court records show. The counts against her include obstructing justice, aggravated robbery and use of a controlled substance.
Prosecutors said Grunwald was driving a pickup truck on Jan. 30 when the man with her, Jose Angel Garcia-Juaregui, 27, fired on officers in pursuit. Urine tests revealed Grunwald had methamphetamine in her system, court documents show.
Garcia-Juaregui killed Utah County sheriff's Sgt. Cory Wride and later wounded Deputy Greg Sherwood in the head before Garcia-Juaregui was fatally shot, authorities said. Sherwood was released from the hospital Tuesday.
During the chase, Grunwald sped away from police in the truck, ran after Garcia-Juaregui when their car crashed, helped pull off a carjacking and resisted arrest, court records show.
Neil Skousen, the girl's attorney, declined comment. He said he was waiting to see the evidence before talking about the case.
Grunwald's relationship with Garcia-Juaregui was unclear, but as the two were being arrested, he said, "'You're not going to let me kiss my girl with my last dying breath?'" court records show.
The day before the shooting, an arrest warrant had been issued for Garcia-Juaregui that alleged violations of his parole conditions. He had served 4 1/2 years for attempted homicide and was paroled from Utah state prison in December 2012.
Grunwald has been in custody since the shooting. Police withheld her name until she was charged.
Utah County Deputy Attorney Chad Grunander declined to elaborate on Grunwald's criminal history or her relationship with Garcia-Juaregui. The prosecutor said more details will be released at a news conference Wednesday.
Investigators said the chase began on a rural highway about 35 miles south of Salt Lake City when Wride stopped to check on a truck with its emergency lights on. He was shot when he returned to his patrol car to check the names of the people in the truck.
With Grunwald driving, authorities, said, the duo sped off in the 2003 Toyota Tundra. Sherwood spotted the truck nearly two hours later. During the brief chase, the truck slowed, closing the distance between it and Sherwood. Court records show that Garcia-Juaregui slid open the back window of the truck and fired two shots, hitting Sherwood in the head.
Records also show that Grunwald later collided with another car and ran on foot after Garcia-Juaregui as they looked for another vehicle. She flagged down an SUV with a woman and her small child inside and hopped into the passenger side as Garcia-Juaregui fired at officers and forced the woman out at gunpoint, court records show.
Investigators say the woman was barely able to get her child from the car seat before Garcia-Juaregui and Grunwald sped off.
The pursuit ended a short time later when that vehicle crashed and officers shot Garcia-Juaregui.