Calif. Woman in Murder-for-Hire Plot of Ex-Husband Collapses as She and Co-Conspirator Are Convicted

Diana Lovejoy, 45, and co-conspirator Weldon McDavid, 50, were guilty Monday of attempted murder and conspiracy

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Photo: Don Boomer/TNS/ZUMA Wire

A California woman and her gun instructor were found guilty Monday of attempted murder and conspiracy in what authorities said was a murder-for-hire plot gone awry, PEOPLE confirms.

After hearing the verdict of her conviction, Diana Lovejoy, 45, collapsed and had to be taken to a local hospital, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

Lovejoy and her co-defendant, Weldon McDavid, 50, were accused of plotting to kill Lovejoy’s now ex-husband, Greg Mulvihill, in September 2016. The former couple had been embroiled in a heated divorce and custody battle.

Lawyers for McDavid and Lovejoy argued during the two-week trial that there was never any plan to kill Mulvihill — despite the fact that McDavid fired several shots at him and hit him in the side with one.

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Don Boomer/TNS/ZUMA Wire

Testifying in his own defense, McDavid, a former Marine and weapons expert, argued in a Vista, California, courtroom that if he had intended to kill Mulvihill, he would not have missed.

“I could hit that person – center mass – 100 yards away without any problem,” he testified, according to the Union-Tribune.

Lovejoy, a software technical writer, met McDavid at Iron Sights shooting range in Oceanside, where he worked.

McDavid told the jury that Lovejoy claimed she had been abused and offered him $2,000 to find dirt on Mulvihill.

McDavid said he asked Lovejoy to buy a burner phone, and then, using the burner phone and pretending to be a private investigator, he called Mulvihill and told him he had evidence against him that he was abusive, and that he would leave that evidence on a pole along a dirt path in a specified remote location.

No such evidence existed, but McDavid’s attorney, Ricky Crawford, told the jury that McDavid believed that Mulvihill showed up to the location, it would amount to evidence that Mulvihill “must be guilty” of abuse, which could then be used as evidence against him.

Jason Kovach, who worked with Mulvihill, testified that he tagged along with Mulvihill and went to a dirt road off Avenida Soledad in Carlsbad.

Kovach told the jury that once they arrived at the spot around 11 p.m., they found nothing on the pole where the evidence was supposed to be. Instead, Kovach said, the two friends saw a man in camouflage gear armed with a long gun lying in the bushes about 60 feet away.

He said the sniper then started shooting.

“I ran as fast as I could down that path,” Kovach testified.

McDavid claimed during testimony that he fired at the flashlight Mulvihill was carrying when he heard one of the two men yell “gun,” hitting him in the side. But McDavid said he did not intend to hit him. McDavid said he fired six more shots over the heads of the two fleeing men.

Lovejoy faces 25 years with a maximum of life in prison, according to the Los Angeles Times. McDavid, as the triggerman, faces 50 years to life in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 12.

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