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Mormon Widower Doug Grant Wasn’t Counting on a Murder Rap When He Followed His Late Wife’s Instruction to Marry His Ex-Lover

On September 23, 2001, Faylene Grant wrote a letter to her husband Doug and his ex-girlfriend, Hilary DeWitt.

"I know I will be here with my body until it is buried," the 35-year-old Gilbert mother of four said. "I have held a secret hope and desire for several weeks that I would be able to see you both married, that I could be there!"

Faylene, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, continued, "For some reason, this desire for you to be married immediately and to see you sitting together as husband and wife at my funeral has been so strong . . . I pray that your home will be protected from the adversary [Satan] and filled with the Holy Ghost! I know it will be!"

Faylene and Doug had been married less than two months this time, after having been divorced for a year. The couple were on their honeymoon when Faylene wrote her weird-sounding letter.

It had begun in Nauvoo, Illinois, a tourism mecca for Mormons in the western part of that state. Nauvoo was a refuge in the mid-1800s for LDS founder Joseph Smith and his followers.

Doug Grant, also 35, was the team nutritionist for the Phoenix Suns and owner of Optimal Health Systems, which markets vitamins, food supplements, and other health-related items.

The couple had five children between them — Faylene's two and Doug's one from previous unions, and their two young sons from their first, eight-year marriage.

Their remarriage in July 2001 astounded everyone who knew them. Faylene had sought the divorce because Doug had been unfaithful to her, including a longtime affair with a former beauty queen turned naturopathic physician.

The two remarried after whirlwind events that began at a business meeting in Dallas, moved to a Mormon Temple in San Diego, went (with their two youngest sons) to Disneyland, and ended in vows at the Excalibur Hotel Casino in Las Vegas.

One day after Faylene penned her letter to Doug and Hilary, she tumbled off a cliff at Timpanogos Cave National Monument, 40 miles south of Salt Lake City.

According to their separate accounts, Faylene had been calling for Doug to join her near the edge of a precipice when her knee buckled and she fell.

She landed about 60 feet below, but remarkably suffered only cuts and deep bruises, after a large pine tree apparently cushioned her fall.

Doug rushed down a path to his wife, believing, he said later, that he would find her dead.

But Faylene was conscious, though dazed and bleeding from the side of one eye.

Against her wishes, Doug took her to an emergency room in nearby American Fork. She was treated and released 90 minutes later with a fistful of pain pills.

The couple drove to the home of friends who live in the next town over, where Faylene rested for a few days.

One of the friends, a registered nurse named Becky Greer, later told a detective that Faylene had told her in a one-on-one conversation, "'I just fell, and I felt like I was floating and I didn't scream out.'"

She and Doug flew back to Arizona on the afternoon of September 26.

Back in Gilbert that day, Doug called Chad White to ask him to come by the house. Doug had met the physician assistant through White's brother Danny, the former ASU and Dallas Cowboys quarterback.

Chad White made a house call early that evening to check on Faylene, who was in great discomfort and unable to sleep after the terrible spill.

He gave her a shot for pain and wrote out several prescriptions, including one for the muscle relaxant Soma and another for five tablets of the sleep aid Ambien. White said later he had asked Doug to let him know before he filled the scrip for the Ambien.

But Doug, without telling White, soon went out to fill all the prescriptions, including the Ambien, as his parents, Lyle and Ione Grant, kept Faylene company.

Ione Grant later said in a deposition that she had chatted with Faylene about the fall while Doug was gone:

"She said, 'Mom, I was supposed to die up there,'" Mrs. Grant recalled.

Faylene never told her mother-in-law, or apparently anyone else, that her husband had pushed her over the edge.

Ione Grant volunteered to spend the night, but Faylene said she'd be okay and went to bed in the early evening.

Faylene was sleeping at about 8 p.m., when her 11-year-old daughter, Jenna, got home from a friend's house.

Jenna's younger half-brothers, Marley and Braven, ages 5 and 3, also were home.

Doug joined his wife in bed later that evening. He said later that she'd awakened in pain at some point, but was unsure whether she had taken one of the sleeping pills he'd picked up at the pharmacy.

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Paul Rubin
Contact: Paul Rubin