- Associated Press - Monday, July 21, 2014

PROVO, Utah (AP) - A judge has postponed a decision to possibly relocate the trial of a 17-year-old girl charged in a Utah County deputy’s death after attorneys said Monday they needed more time to prepare their case.

Meagan Grunwald’s lawyers said they needed two more weeks after prosecutors had filed an argument against the move on July 8.

Attorneys for both sides are now scheduled to make their case on Aug. 4.

Grunwald pleaded not guilty in May to a dozen charges, including murder and attempted murder, stemming from the Jan. 30 police chase and shootout across several counties.

The snowy crime spree left Sgt. Cory Wride dead and another deputy injured, authorities said.

Prosecutors said the teenager’s 27-year-old boyfriend, Angel Garcia-Juaregui, was the one who shot and killed Wride, but they say the teenager drove the couple and participated in criminal acts.

Garcia-Juaregui died after a shootout with police during the spree.

Grunwald appeared in court Monday wearing a navy blue jail jumpsuit, with her wrist shackled at her waist. She did not speak as she stood by her attorney.

Defense attorney Dean Zabriskie told reporters Monday that it is difficult get a judge to move a trial, but Grunwald’s legal team is concerned that jurors could be influenced because both officers shot in the case worked in Utah County.

“The ongoing efforts to memorialize these young men - we see streets named after them and different dedicatory things to their memory - things like that concerns us a little bit.” Zabriskie said.

If the trial stayed in Utah County, Zabriskie said Utah County Sheriff’s deputies would be providing court security. That could influence jurors, he said.

In court filings, prosecutors argued against moving the trial out of Utah County because media coverage of the case has already been seen “around the state, the country and the world.”

Most media organizations covering the case are based in Salt Lake County, where defense attorneys want to move the trial, prosecutors also said.

Zabriskie has said that Grunwald will testify at her trial that her boyfriend forced her to participate in the crime at gunpoint.

He said Monday that they are not discussing a potential plea deal with prosecutors but that may change once a trial is scheduled.

As the only surviving suspect, Grunwald is charged under state laws making assisting in a crime nearly as serious as committing it.

Besides murder and attempted murder, she’s charged with obstructing justice, aggravated robbery and use of a controlled substance.

As a minor, she is in ineligible for the death penalty.



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