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(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) Meagan Grunwald, a teen charged in connection with a fatal officer shooting in Utah County is escorted by baliffs into her preliminary hearing in Judge Darold McDade's courtroom in Provo Wednesday April 16.
Dash-cam video documents shooting death of Utah officer
Courts » 17-year-old is charged as an adult with being an accomplice to January killing.
First Published Apr 16 2014 07:43 am • Last Updated May 12 2014 01:05 pm

Provo • Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Cory Wride’s dashboard camera played in the tiny courtroom Wednesday, showing what appeared to be a routine motorist assist.

The grainy video depicted Wride going from his patrol car to a white pickup truck, back and forth three times in the snowy weather, as he tried to identify who was inside the vehicle that had pulled over on a highway near Lehi.

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Though the first minutes of the video appeared innocuous enough, everyone who packed into the Provo courtroom knew what was coming.

That video, projected on a large screen Wednesday morning, would document the last moments of Wride’s life.

Minutes passed, the dash-cam fixed on the rear of the pickup truck. Suddenly, the back window slides open.

Two pops are heard. A gasp. Then silence.

Then the pickup truck drove away, setting off a manhunt that turned into a two-county high-speed chase which would leave another officer injured, multiple cars damaged and the gunman fatally wounded.

Dash-cam video from six police officers’ cars was shown throughout the day Wednesday as prosecutors presented evidence from the January shooting spree that allegedly implicates 17-year-old Meagan Dakota Grunwald.

At the end of Grunwald’s preliminary hearing — scheduled to go through Thursday — 4th District Judge Darold McDade will decide if there is probable cause for the teen to stand trial on 12 charges, including aggravated murder for Wride’s death and attempted aggravated murder for the wounding of Utah County Sheriff’s Deputy Greg Sherwood in Santaquin.

According to court documents and police and prosecutors, events began in Utah County at about 1 p.m. on Jan. 30, when Wride stopped his patrol car on State Road 73 about 5 miles west of Lehi to check on a Toyota Tundra pickup truck that was stopped on the shoulder.

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Wride was sitting in his patrol car checking information given to him by Grunwald, who was allegedly driving, and 27-year-old Jose Angel Garcia-Jauregui when the man allegedly opened the back sliding window of the truck and began shooting at the officer.

Seven shots were fired toward Wride, Sgt. Scott Finch, with the Utah County Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigations, testified Wednesday. The first two struck the windshield, and killed Wride.

Police believe the girl drove the truck away, and was still at the wheel when they encountered Sherwood in Santaquin.

More than an hour after Wride was killed, Sherwood spotted the white pickup truck near Santaquin and gave chase, according to prosecutors.

Dash-cam video from Sherwood’s patrol vehicle shows he caught up to the pickup truck as it was going west on the town’s Main Street.

Sirens are heard blaring on the dash-cam audio as the pickup truck suddenly slows down — closing distance between the truck and Sherwood’s vehicle — and a pop can be heard. Sherwood’s car then stops.

Moments later, Sherwood informed dispatchers he had been shot through the windshield.

A photo of Sherwood’s vehicle shown in court shows that one bullet hole hit the windshield, and another struck the hood before ricocheting into the windshield.

Finch said the ricocheting bullet struck Sherwood, who underwent two surgeries, one to remove a bullet fragment lodged between his brain and skull.

During cross-examination of Finch, defense attorney Dean Zabriskie asked about the pickup truck’s tinted windows, and if Wride could have seen inside the vehicle.

Zabriskie also asked if the dash-cam video shows whether Garcia-Jauregui pointed the gun at Grunwald.

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