Murder trial of former fitness guru accused of killing wife begins

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Case turns global spotlight on Arizona
azfamily.com

PHOENIX - The defendant is a successful entrepreneur and the victim was his wife, who reportedly foretold her own death.

Was it suicide or a murder? It is all part of a drama unfolding in a Valley courtroom and it is a case that has turned a global spotlight on Arizona.

Three of the major television networks were present at the courthouse as they follow the trial.

The opening statements got underway in the late afternoon of Wednesday. On trial is a man by the name of Doug Grant. He is accused of killing his wife back in 2001.

On one side there is veteran prosecutor Juan Martinez and on the other, high-profile criminal defense attorney Mel McDonald. At the center of the trial is former fitness guru-to-the-stars and TV commentator Doug Grant. The question now is whether Grant murdered his wife Faylene Grant over than 7 years ago and if so, why.

Grant was charged with first-degree murder. He is accused of drugging and drowning his wife in the bathtub of their Gilbert home in September of 2001.

Grant never called 911.

Faylene's family has maintained all along that Grant killed her so that he could marry his 19-year-old girlfriend, a marriage that took place just weeks after Faylene's death.

During his opening statement, prosecutor Martinez read letters written by Faylene, in which she described her feelings about her husband's affair. In the letter she wrote, "I don't think that I ever hurt so badly or felt so betrayed.

Thursday the defense will begin its opening statements. McDonald is expected to argue that Faylene's death was either accidental or suicide and will refer to the same letters written by Faylene, which she reportedly described having a premonition about her death and even encouraged his husband to marry his young girlfriend.

The trial is expected to last until sometime in March of 2009.