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Dash-cam video from slain Utah deputy shown at evidence hearing for teen charged

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PROVO, Utah — A dash-cam video shows the moments a fugitive fatally shot a Utah deputy and fled in a pickup truck driven by a teenage girl who faces murder charges in the case, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Video from Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Cory Wride's patrol car was played in a Provo courtroom Wednesday as prosecutors tried to convince a judge that 17-year-old Meagan Grunwald should stand trial.

The two-day evidence hearing is scheduled to continue Thursday.

The video from Jan. 30 shows Wride approaching the truck pulled over on the side of a snowy Utah highway and speaking to the occupants before returning to his vehicle.

A few minutes later, a rear window of the truck slid open, followed by the sound of seven gunshot pops and a gasp that appeared to come from Wride.

The pickup truck then sped off on a snowy highway.

Grunwald, the only surviving suspect from the highway chase and shootout with police, is facing 12 charges, including aggravated murder and attempted murder.

Her boyfriend, Jose Angel Garcia-Juaregui, 27, fatally shot Wride and injured another deputy during the crime spree, authorities said.

Garcia-Juaregui died from wounds suffered in a shootout with Juab County deputies when they caught up to the pair south of Nephi.

Grunwald faces charges brought under state laws make aiding and abetting a crime nearly as serious as committing it. Besides murder and attempted murder, the teenager has been charged with obstructing justice, aggravated robbery and use of a controlled substance.

Urine tests revealed she had methamphetamine in her system, court documents show.

Grunwald, who is being tried as an adult, appeared in court wearing a blue jail jumpsuit with her wrists shackled.

During testimony, she was expressionless and spent much of the time leaning forward and looking straight ahead.

She occasionally whispered with her defense attorneys and during a court recess, exchanged smiles with them and appeared to laugh.

Defense attorney Dean Zabriskie told reporters later that Grunwald not a willing participant in the events and was a victim, but wouldn't go so far as to call her a hostage on Wednesday.

Zabriskie said the teenager, a high school student, "is now locked in a truck with a lunatic, shooting everything and everywhere he can. I would hope that everyone would wait until she can recite her feelings about what happened."

During the hearing Wednesday, Zabriskie noted Wednesday that the dash-cam video did not show who may have fired the shots from the pickup truck or what may have happened inside the truck once Wride pulled up.

Prosecutors have said Grunwald drove the pair throughout the 50-mile spree and participated in a carjacking.

The pickup truck the two rode in was registered to Grunwald and her mother.

The motive for the crime spree remained unclear, but it might have been related to an arrest warrant issued a day earlier for Garcia-Juaregui that alleged violations of his parole conditions. He had served 4 1/2 years for attempted homicide and was paroled from a Utah prison in December 2012.

In addition to the video from Wride's car, prosecutor Sam Pead also showed dash-cam videos from vehicles driven by wounded Utah County Deputy Greg Sherwood and five other officers who encountered the pickup truck during the chase.

The videos show authorities pursued the white pickup truck in falling snow and low visibility. Officers testified Wednesday that they reached speeds of 110 mph during the chase.

Several of the videos show the pair carjacking an SUV, with Garcia-Juaregui forcing the driver and her young child from the car at gunpoint, officers said.

Juab County Sheriff's Deputy Alan Taylor testified that when he and other officers caught up to the pair and restrained the injured Garcia-Juaregui, the man asked officers if they would let him "kiss my girlfriend with my last dying breath."

Zabriskie asked questions of officers about the visibility that day, how loud the gunfire was and how closely they observed Grunwald's actions.

At the time of the chase, Garcia-Juaregui and Grunwald had been living together for several months at her mother's house in Draper, prosecutors said.

Grunwald could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted. Prosecutors have said she will not face the death penalty because she is under 18.


Follow Michelle Price at https://twitter.com/michellelprice.

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