Jury Finds Doug Grant Guilty in Bizarre Bathtub Drowning

In a letter, Faylene Grant asked her husband to marry his ex-girlfriend.

ByABC News
April 2, 2009, 3:03 PM

GILBERT, Ariz., April 3, 2009— -- After four long months of trial testimony full of twists and turns, including tales about revelations from God, lust, temptation and greed, last week an Arizona jury found Doug Grant, 43, guilty of manslaughter in the 2001 death of his wife, Faylene Grant, who was 35 when she died.

All along, the prosecution's case had been built on premeditation, accusing Doug of implanting visions of death in his devoutly religious wife, then drowning her in their bathtub so that he could be with his ex-girlfriend.

To the defense, Faylene Grant's death was either a suicide or a strange accident.

But for the jury, in the end it all came down to recklessness.

Though Doug Grant was originally indicted on first degree murder, in the last weeks of trial the prosecution argued for and the judge agreed that the jury could consider two lesser offenses -- second degree murder and manslaughter. If the prosecution hadn't won its argument, Doug Grant might not be locked up at the Maricopa County Jail.

"If it was first degree, we definitely would have hung," the jury foreperson, who did not wish to be identified, told ABC News. "Some people felt that he was guilty of first degree [murder] and they felt very strongly about it. Ultimately, it came down to manslaughter -- for not making the 911 call and possibly by him not calling 911. They couldn't get there to save Faylene. Everybody agreed with that."

What the jury seemed to have a tougher time explaining were the strange circumstances surrounding the couples second marriage.

"There were no solid answers at the end of so many paths that we went down," explained the foreperson.

Watch the story tonight on "20/20" at 10 p.m. ET

Doug and Faylene Grant's story began in 1993, and there's little mystery to what drew them together. Both were divorced and had children, both had backgrounds in health and nutrition and both were raised in the Mormon church. Faylene was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and a believer in the doctrine of personal revelation: She believed she could receive guidance directly from God. Faylene's sister, Jody Stratton, described her as "Christ-like."

"There was nothing wrong with that. It's a good thing to be religious," Stratton told ABC News. "It's a good thing to love the heavenly father and to love Christ and to want to be like them."

Doug Grant's calling was of a different nature. During his marriage to Faylene, he built a successful business with nutritional supplements and even consulted with several NBA basketball teams. But his professional success came at the expense of his personal life. Infidelity and time away from home damaged the relationship, and after seven years of marriage, they divorced.

Doug said he soon met and began to fall in love with a young woman working as a receptionist at his company named Hilary Dewitt. But on the verge of proposing, he said he received a startling call from his ex-wife.

Doug told ABC News that his ex-wife said to him, "I was told in the San Diego [Mormon] Temple, from God, to remarry you."

Doug had asked Faylene to reconsider their marriage in the past, but said he never thought she'd take him back. After careful consideration, he said, he broke off his relationship with Hilary and joined his ex-wife in San Diego.