17-year-old's attorney hoping to plea bargain

By Marcos Ortiz

Published 02/24 2014 01:24PM

Updated 02/25 2014 05:46AM

PROVO Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – The attorney defending a 17-year old girl accused of the murder of Sgt. Cory Wride is hoping a trial could be avoided.
But Dean Zabriskie also states it’s early in the process. Meagan Grunwald made her first court appearance in a Utah County court room Monday morning.

"Oh she’s scared to death,” says Zabriskie who was hired by the Grunwald family to represent her. “I walked in and focused on her because she was most traumatized. She was in a bank of young woman. She stands out.”

Zabriskie says Grunwald is a child. But prosecutors say this so-called child allegedly committed a heinous creime.
Grunwald is facing 17-felony charges including the murder of Sgt. Cory Wride and attempted murder of Deputy Greg Sherwood in late January.

“Our heart goes out to that young police officer,” says Zabriskie. “I was acquainted with him. That makes it difficult for everyone.”

Prosecutors contend Grunwald wasn’t the shooter but was “an active participant.” The Utah County attorney says Grunwald’s boyfriend Jose Angel Garcia-Jauregui did all the shooting. He died after being shot by officers.

“Because of the seriousness of the charges, we have a young police officer who was killed in the process doing his duty,” says Zabriskie. “There’s always going to be a lot of emotion. “

Grunwald’s mother was also in the courtroom. But she left without making any comment.

“The mother is very upset,” says Zabriskie. “ It’s her only daughter . She doesn’t know a whole lot about what’s going on. There’s little doubt there’s plenty of trauma to go around. “

Grunwald is currently being held in the Salt Lake County jail. Her bail has been set at one million dollars.

"We’ve already begun negotiations with the prosecution to see what directions this is going in,” says Zabriskie.

And when asked if he or the family wants this case resolved, Zabriskie was non-committal.

“I think it’s every attorney’s goal to get a fair resolution. “It’s a little early to see how and when this will resolve itself.”

For now Zabriskie wants to get Grunwald out of jail in preparation for the long road ahead.

"In most instances she’s characterized and defined as a child,” he says. “Her experience except for this last horrendous experience is that of a child. So being locked up in an environment and with these charges, the experience I would guess is very traumatizing for her.”

Grunwald will return to the Provo court next week for a bail reduction hearing.

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