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Gregerson's wife tells of her despair

Catherine Elin Gregerson, the wife of the man charged with murdering 5-year-old Destiny Norton, says she plans to divorce him in the future but often weeps in despair and voices conflicting views about her spouse.

She said the man she married, Craig Roger Gregerson, behaved like "a perfect gentleman" while they were courting, but in light of recent events, "I can't be with a man who would do something like that."

Craig Gregerson, 20, is in the Salt Lake County Jail facing a charge of capital murder and first-degree felony kidnapping in connection with the death of Destiny, who disappeared from her home July 16 and whose body was found hidden in Craig Gregerson's basement. Police say he confessed to the crime.

Meanwhile, Catherine Gregerson, 22, appeared in court Thursday with her lawyer, Delano Findlay, who asked that misdemeanor charges against his client be dismissed. Instead, 3rd District Judge Judith Atherton set a Dec. 1 trial date.

The charges against Catherine stem from an April 27 argument the couple had while they were separated, Findlay said outside the courtroom.

She had gone to visit her husband, but he snatched their baby (who is now 13 months old) and ran inside, telling Catherine she'd never see the infant again, Findlay said. She kicked a hole in the screen door to get the child, Findlay said, resulting in charges of domestic violence in the presence of a child and criminal mischief, both class A misdemeanors.

She turned down a plea bargain offer from prosecutors that would have required her to plead guilty in return for a plea in abeyance, which essentially wipes the slate clean if someone complies with court-ordered requirements.

Findlay said he was confident Catherine Gregerson would be exonerated once the facts in her particular case emerge.

Catherine Gregerson said she is staying with a relative and, because she is so upset, has asked friends in Spanish Fork to take care of the baby temporarily. She has applied for financial aid to get mental health treatment. She also is unhappy that some of the public outrage over Destiny's death has been directed toward her. She said she took down a Web site where numerous bloggers wrote hateful things about her, including one person who hoped both Gregersons would die in a train wreck.

"What did I do?" she asked.

As for her mental state, "I have my moments," she said. "I will be fine one minute and then I'll be breaking down in tears, really breaking down, like mini nervous breakdowns."

When police allowed her back into the couple's home to get some personal possessions, she said it was a "very creepy" experience. "At one point, I huddled down on the floor and I was in tears."

She said she had loved her husband a long time and both she and his family are "devastated" by what has happened.

Catherine Gregerson was quick to note that Craig Gregerson is innocent until proven guilty — "and anybody who has a problem with that should take a look at our Constitution" — but also said she and the Gregerson family want him to plead guilty rather than drag out the legal process.

She also wants her husband to relinquish paternal rights to their daughter and said she will file for divorce, although not now. She plans to attend his court hearings, not as a show of support, but to keep abreast of what is going on and "get a sense of closure."

She hopes to meet with Destiny's family some time in the future but thinks they need time to grieve and not be bothered with anyone from the Gregerson family for now.

Catherine Gregerson said when the couple was courting, he was "a perfect gentleman."

"He was sweet, lovable, very thoughtful. To me, he was just perfect," she said.

They did have a turbulent marriage, and she admits he can be violent, but said she never suspected he was capable of the crime he's accused of and added there was no indication of his reported fondness for pornography.

She denied feeling tricked by Gregerson, saying that she believes he was very deceptive and was afraid to say he had a problem and needed help because they had a baby.


E-mail: lindat@desnews.com