Lehigh Valley

Nazareth man arrested in failed murder-suicide

Wife suffered cracked vertebra in attack on Sunday, police say

Attempted murder-suicide suspect facing new charges

NAZARETH, Pa. - Nazareth Police say a man accused of trying to kill his wife attacked her three years ago.

Tuesday, Jason Gruver, 28, was arraigned on additional charges stemming from a 2009 assault case.

Gruver was already charged with choking his wife and breaking part of her neck.

Police have said Maria Gruver, 27, may be paralyzed as a result.

Union Street in Nazareth appears quiet, but neighbors said, it was anything but quiet in the Gruvers' house at the end of the street.

"I did hear some commotion going on at times," said Anesa Dunbar, who lives next door. "I heard him yelling at her. I never saw her bruised or anything."

Court records claim Gruver choked his wife so hard, he broke one of her vertebra. Then, police said Gruver slit his wrist, writing in his own blood on the shower, "I'm sorry. I [heart] you so much." Police believe Gruver thought he had killed his wife.

"I was shocked, of course, at what happened, but I wasn't surprised," said Dunbar.

Maria Gruver was able to call 911 early Sunday morning to report the incident, but police didn't arrest her husband until that night, after Maria's sister came by the house and discovered blood throughout.

Neighbors said they were disturbed.

"How can you say you love her and you did that to her?" asked Steve Mullner, who has lived across the street for two decades.

This wasn't the first time Jason Gruver allegedly attacked his wife. Tuesday, he was arraigned on simple assault and harassment charges from 2009, when police claim he dragged his wife across a floor after biting her.

The couple has a young daughter who is now staying with relatives.

"My heart goes out to her daughter," said Dunbar. "Me being a mother, that's the first thing that I think about."

Police have said Maria Gruver may be paralyzed as a result of this attack. She is recovering at St Luke's Hospital. Her husband in the Northampton County Prison under $100,000 bond.

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