Final Judgment: Dramatic Court Verdict After Wife's Death Arouses Suspicion

Victim's family speaks out after dramatic court verdict.

March 31, 2009, 4:43 PM

April 1, 2009— -- On the morning of Sept. 27, 2001, Doug Grant says he woke to find his wife Faylene, drowning in their bathtub. He says he called a physician's assistant he knew and asked him to come over.

"He started doing CPR and he turned her on her side and a bunch of water came out. And I thought, 'What did I do wrong?'" Grant told "20/20."

Watch the story on "20/20" Friday, April 3, at 10 p.m. ET.

Several hours later, after being rushed to a nearby hospital, Faylene's heart stopped and she was pronounced dead. Local police in Gilbert, Ariz., initially viewed her death as accidental, though the medical examiner officially labeled it "undetermined."

And undetermined it has remained, until just last week when a Maricopa County jury decided whether Doug Grant was responsible for his wife's death.

The case of State of Arizona vs. Douglas D. Grant read like a Hollywood script, complete with a prosecutor with a penchant for the jugular and a defense attorney with his own flair for the dramatic.

Behind them was a cast of family, friends and witnesses who alternately portrayed the defendant as an innocent victim of circumstance or an evil mastermind capable of the most heinous of crimes.

The trial was rich with references to Mormon theology, the Celestial Kingdom, and eternal salvation, because both Faylene and Doug Grant had been raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Doug Grant had been excommunicated, while Faylene remained a devout follower. She believed wholeheartedly in the Mormon doctrine of personal revelation, that a faithful member can receive guidance directly from God, her family said.

"She was so spiritual in a good way. She was Christ-like and there is nothing wrong with that. ... It's a good thing to love Heavenly Father and to love Christ and to want to be like them. That's what she was," said Jody Stratton, Faylene Grant's sister.

Doug Grant's calling was rather different. By the mid-90s, he had built a booming business with nutritional supplements. He also did health and nutritional consulting with several NBA teams, including the Phoenix Suns and the Miami Heat.

But his success came at a cost -- infidelity and time spent away from home led the couple to divorce in 2000.

Despite the split, the couple remained in close touch for their children. Doug Grant meanwhile, had begun to fall for Hilary Dewitt, a receptionist at his company. Even though she was 16 years his junior, the two had an instant connection and began to talk of marriage, Grant said.

But in July 2001, Grant took a trip to Dallas along with his ex-wife Faylene in order to settle a company lawsuit. During their stay, they began to talk about reconciliation.

Faylene did what she often did when faced with big decisions -- she visited a Mormon temple in San Diego to ask God directly if she should remarry her ex-husband.

"I get a phone call, bright and early. And on the other end of the phone's Faylene," Grant told "20/20." "And she goes, 'I was told in the San Diego Temple from God, to remarry you.'"

But that's not the only thing God allegedly told Faylene Grant.

"Faylene believed with all her heart that she was going to die," Grant said. "She was very committed and I believed what she was saying."

And, in a surprising letter uncovered after her death, Faylene Grant outlined her final wishes, asking Dewitt, her husband's ex-girlfriend, to marry him and become the mother of their children.

In her interview with "20/20," Dewitt described the astonishing request.

"She told me nothing will be too soon. 'I want you to be together immediately, I want you to take care of my children,'" Dewitt said.

Find out more this Friday on "20/20" at 10 p.m. ET.

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