Woman found guilty in murder-for-hire trial, passes out in courtroom

VISTA, Calif. (CNS) - A verdict has been reached in the trial of a woman and her gun instructor who are accused of carrying out a plan to kill the woman's estranged husband.

A jury has found Diana Lovejoy, 44, guilty of conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder. Welcon McDavid Jr. was also found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, but the reading of the verdict had to be postponed because Lovejoy passed out. 

Lovejoy and McDavid Jr. were charged with conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder in the Sept. 1, 2016, attack on 45-year-old Greg Mulvihill, who was wounded in the 11 p.m. shooting in Carlsbad.

Police allege Lovejoy and McDavid planned the crime and that the latter - - who worked at a gun range where Lovejoy was taking marksmanship lessons -- called the victim, arranged to meet him in the alley and opened fire on him with a rifle while hiding in a patch of bushes.

Court records indicated Lovejoy and Mulvihill were in the midst of a contentious divorce, and that she had obtained a restraining order against him on accusations of emotional and sexual abuse.

Mulvihill took the stand during the trial and described the moments leading up to him being shot, saying he didn't realize he'd been shot right away and, at first, he thought he felt something in his back even though he could see the shooter in front of him.

Mulvihill testified about a bitter custody battle with his estranged wife.

Mulvihill said he went up a remote trail in Carlsbad out of desperation, fearing Lovejoy would reopen their custody battle. He took a friend, a flashlight and a small aluminum baseball bat, but he thought he was picking up documents from a private investigator.

Instead, as he approached the spot off Rancho Santa Fe Road and Avenida Soledad, he shined his flashlight around and spotted someone dressed in camouflage pointing a long gun right at him.

Before he knew what was happening, Mulvihill said he was hit once in the side, the bullet exiting out his back. McDavid faces 50 years to life behind bars, and Lovejoy could be sentenced to 25 years to life.

After court, the jury foreperson, Erin Reed,  told reporters the defense version of the shooting "seemed too far-fetched."

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