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Facing possible charges of child kidnapping and murder, 20-year-old Craig Roger Gregerson has a prior criminal record consisting of a single assault conviction - for punching his mother-in-law in the face two years ago.

But Gregerson's two-year marriage to Catherine Elin Gregerson has been tumultuous and violent, according to court and police records.

Each partner has taken turns in the roles of aggressor and victim.

During the same week in December 2004 that Craig Gregerson punched his mother-in-law, his wife choked him with a kite string and his work ID necklace until he "turned blue and was about to pass out," according to court documents.

After her arrest, Catherine Gregerson bit an emergency medical technician on the arm and was taken to University Hospital psychiatric unit, according to a police report, which also states she has "multiple mental disorders, such as bipolar and depression."

Catherine Gregerson pleaded guilty in 3rd District Court last year to class A misdemeanor counts of attempted aggravated assault and attempted assault on a health care provider. She was placed on 18 months probation and ordered to obtain mental health treatment.

Craig Gregerson resolved the case of his attack on his wife's mother by pleading no contest to class B misdemeanor simple assault and completing 16 weeks of counseling. The plea was held in abeyance and later dismissed.

Earlier this year, the couple pointed fingers at each other following Craig Gregerson's request for a court-ordered protective order against his wife, which was issued and later vacated.

Gregerson claimed in court documents filed in February that his wife had attacked and threatened to kill him. Gregerson - who until June was a shipping and receiving clerk for a Radio Shack Service Center - also claimed his wife had drugged him in the past so he would lose his job and the two could spend more time together.

She countered that he had repeatedly assaulted her, including a beating while she was pregnant - causing her to miscarry their first child. She claimed he also attacked her on several other occasions, including Valentine's Day.

On Feb. 14, Catherine Gregerson said her husband stuck his fingers into her nostrils and pulled her ears as he sat on her stomach, according to documents she filed in 3rd District Court.

When she escaped to the next room and picked up the couple's then-7-month-old daughter, he began hitting her on the top of the head with his fists as she held the baby, according to the documents.

Catherine Gregerson described herself as a "battered wife who has put up with it because she loved [her husband] and felt a need for his love."

She claimed he had, at different times, broken her nose, kicked her in the head and choked her, telling her he didn't care if he killed her because it would be better to be in jail than to live with her, the documents said.

Catherine Gregerson's attorney, Delano Findlay, said Craig Gregerson sought a protective order against his wife in order to get custody of their daughter.

Findlay said he had written a divorce petition for Catherine Gregerson but had not yet filed it with the court. Catherine Gregerson's mother called Findlay on Tuesday to say she was coming to see him, he said.

"They're concerned about their privacy and this is a mess," Findlay said. "A mess no one suspected."

Findlay also represents Catherine Gregerson against misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief and domestic violence in the presence of a child stemming from an incident at Craig Gregerson's at 518 E. Elwood Place in Salt Lake City, where Destiny's body was found Monday.

On April 27, Catherine Gregerson was dropping off their daughter for a visit when she found her estranged husband talking online with a girlfriend, according to a police report.

Catherine Gregerson told police she tried to get to the computer because she wanted to tell the woman Craig Gregerson was married.

But when he blocked her path to the computer and pushed her outside, she kicked and beat on the screen door until it came off its hinges, causing an estimated $200 damage, according to court documents.

In early 2005, state child welfare officials investigated a domestic dispute involving Gregerson and another adult, said Carol Sisco, spokeswoman for Utah's Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS).

Caseworker logs show Gregerson as the perpetrator, but make no mention of a child, said Sisco. "If the violence didn't happen in the presence of a child, it wouldn't be child abuse. We have no open cases on [Gregerson]."

Sisco would not disclose whether DCFS has investigated Gregerson's estranged wife.

One of Gregerson's older brothers, Spencer Gregerson, said Tuesday that Craig and Catherine Gregerson were always fighting.

"They seemed like two grown-ups who never grew up," he said, adding that his sister-in-law was planning to move back in with her husband.

Spencer Gregerson said he hadn't spoken to his brother since he visited him on Saturday and doesn't know what to believe about the arrest.

"I would like to know what happened as much as anybody," he said.

Craig Gregerson was the seventh of eight kids reared in a Mormon family in Orem. He largely kept to himself, his brother said.

The brother said Craig Gregerson attended Timpanogos High School but doesn't think he graduated.

"He just seemed like a lazy person," Spencer Gregerson said.


Tribune reporter Kirsten Stewart contributed to this story.

Fliers in memory of Destiny Ann Norton are posted at 518 Elwood St., where she was found Monday. The lead suspect in the case, Craig Gregerson, has had a stormy relationship with his wife over the past two years, according to police and court documents.

Fliers in memory of Destiny Ann Norton are posted at 518 Elwood St., where she was found Monday.