Longform

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

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Faylene urinated in the bed at some point, and she got up to take a bath.

Doug also said that he fell asleep for a while after he heard his wife drawing the bath.

At 7:46 a.m., a 911 operator based in Mesa took a cell phone call from physician assistant White.

"I just got a distress call from a friend of mine who just called me," White said. "I don't know if he's already called you. He said his wife is unconscious, and she took all of the medicine he had."

White said he was phoning from his car on his way to the Grants' home, about 10 minutes away.

"His wife, I think she overdosed. I couldn't understand [him]; he was frantic. He told me to get over there because I'm a PA, and I told him to call 911, and he said, 'I'm afraid to, I'm afraid to.' I don't know why he said that."

The operator dispatched paramedics to East Michelle Way, to a 2,200-square-foot home in a tidy neighborhood near Greenfield and Baseline.

White beat the paramedics there by a few minutes.

Faylene Grant lay naked on her back on the king-size bed, apparently not breathing. She was soaking wet, as was everything around her.

White felt for a pulse but didn't find one. He performed CPR, though the unconscious woman expelled water and vomit with almost each chest compression.

As White worked on Faylene, Doug wailed that he had fallen asleep shortly after she went to take her bath.

"Doug was kneeling down next to her, just frantically bawling and crying," White later told a police detective.

The paramedics soon took over, and rushed Faylene to Valley Lutheran Hospital in Mesa, where she clung to life for several hours, as friends and family members, including Doug, held vigil.

At 4:37 p.m., doctors took Faylene Grant off life support and she died.

It had been just one month since she handed her former and current husband Doug an "anniversary" letter.

"This has been, by far, the happiest month, as we've been one and committed to being one with our Savior and Heavenly Father," she had written. "You are my King and my love is TRUE through the good and the bad! I will be with you ALWAYS!"


Douglas D. Grant is scheduled to go on trial October 20 at Maricopa County Superior Court, in downtown Phoenix, for the first-degree murder of Faylene.

The Grant case includes marital infidelity (on Doug's part), wild religious revelations, an admitted liar of a police snitch, and, ultimately, scant evidence against the defendant.

Doug Grant is facing at least 25 years in prison if a jury convicts him, which is eminently possible.

How things got to this point: the persistence of Faylene's family and a Gilbert police detective, and Doug's stupidity in marrying a gorgeous 19-year-old just one month after his wife was buried — even if Faylene had "instructed" him to in that bizarre "goodbye" letter.

Central to the case is controversial Gilbert cop Sy Ray, who tried to keep evidence favorable to Doug Grant from defense attorneys, prosecutors, and two grand juries.

Ray also tainted many witnesses in the case by revealing to them his own skewed version of what allegedly happened to Faylene.

Some witnesses later admitted to having changed their minds (and their accounts, in one key instance) about Doug Grant's guilt after hearing the detective's spiel.

The plot line in this high-profile case (two network TV shows plan to air one-hour episodes) is exceptional:

Faylene divorces her second husband, Doug, because of repeated infidelities.

Though she's expressed suicidal thoughts on and off for years, she begins to experience revelations from God that she is going to die soon of unspecified causes.

The revelations become so powerful in early 2001 that she tells a close friend she fears getting too close to a new love interest because she doesn't want him to be a young widower.

Doug is excommunicated from the LDS church for his infidelities against Faylene, and for having sex out of wedlock with his Mormon girlfriend, Hilary DeWitt.

But God "tells" her that summer to reunite with her ex, who is game despite his ongoing serious relationship with 19-year-old Hilary.

But the remarriage, though seemingly happy for Faylene, doesn't curb her fatalistic thoughts.

She makes it her disturbing mission to ensure that her husband and Hilary will reunite and marry after she dies.

Faylene Grant convinces herself that she will be able to help her loved ones on Earth after she dies, specifically her beloved children, husband, and Hilary.

Faylene writes in her journals that she will await Doug and Hilary's arrivals in the Celestial Kingdom, the highest of the three levels of Heaven in Mormon theology.

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Paul Rubin
Contact: Paul Rubin