Trial postponed to April for Utah teenager charged in death of sheriff's deputy

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PROVO, Utah — A Utah judge on Friday pushed back a trial for a teenage girl facing murder and other charges in the death of a Utah County sheriff's deputy.

A trial for Meagan Grunwald, 18, was originally scheduled for February, but the teenager's lawyers said they needed more time to line up witnesses.

Grunwald's nine-day trial will now begin on April 28. She could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

Defense attorney Dean Zabriskie said they need time because the case is complex and includes dozens of witnesses and crime scenes across three counties.

Grunwald is the only survivor of the Jan. 30 police chase and shootout that left Utah County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Cory Wride dead and another deputy injured.

Grunwald's 27-year-old boyfriend, Angel Garcia-Juaregui, is the one who shot Wride and the other deputy, but the teenager droved the couple as they fled from police and participated in crimes such as a carjacking, prosecutors said.

Defense lawyers say Garcia-Juaregui forced Grunwald, then 17, to participate at gunpoint.

Garcia-Juaregui died at the end of the chase in a shootout with police.

Grunwald is charged under state laws that make assisting in a crime nearly as serious as committing it.

In addition to postponing the trial Friday, Judge Darold McDade scheduled a Feb. 17 hearing where prosecutors will ask to present notes, phone calls and testimony as evidence during the trial that they say Grunwald was not involved against her will.

Besides murder and attempted murder, Grunwald is charged with obstructing justice, aggravated robbery and use of a controlled substance. The teenager tested positive for methamphetamine after the chase, court records show.

She is ineligible for the death penalty because she was under 18 when the crime was committed.

A day before the chase, an arrest warrant had been issued for Garcia-Juaregui that alleged violations of his parole conditions. He was paroled from a Utah prison in December 2012 after serving 4 1/2 years for attempted homicide.

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