Gun Instructor Who Tried to Kill Lover’s Husband: I Regret Cheating on My Wife More Than Shooting
Weldon McDavid and Diana Lovejoy were both convicted in connection to a botched murder-for-hire plot on Lovejoy's husband
The former California firearms instructor who was convicted of attempted murder and conspiracy last November in a botched murder-for-hire plot of his lover’s husband says he regrets cheating on his wife more than the crime that put him in jail.
“It was totally unsatisfying,” Weldon McDavid told Dateline‘s Andrea Canning about his affair with 45-year-old Diana Lovejoy, who was also convicted of conspiracy and attempted murder of her now ex-husband Greg Mulvihill. “If I could only take back one thing, I would take that out of the equation.”
Asked if he wouldn’t take back shooting Mulvihill — who was struck by a bullet on his side, but survived — McDavid, 50, responded: “If there was only one thing I can take away I would take [sleeping with Lovejoy] away because I hurt my wife, and that means more to me than anything.”
McDavid is currently serving a sentence of 50 years to life at the California Institution for Men in Chino. His former lover, Lovejoy, was sentenced to 26 years to life in prison.
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Lovejoy and McDavid plotted to kill Mulvihill in September 2016. At the time of the shooting, Lovejoy, a triathlete and software technical writer, was embroiled in a heated divorce and custody battle with Mulvihill.
Lovejoy wasn’t happy with their 50-50 custody arrangement and with having to pay Mulvihill $120,000, so she hired McDavid to “eliminate the problem,” Carlsbad Police Department Sgt. Darbie Ernst told PEOPLE in a previous interview. “It is as straightforward as possible.”
On the evening of the September 1, 2016 shooting, investigators said McDavid phoned Mulvihill and pretended to be a private investigator who had incriminating evidence against him. He told Mulvihill he would leave the evidence on a pole along a secluded dirt path off a road in Carlsbad, California.
Determined to discover what was going on, Mulvihill grabbed a flashlight and his son’s mini-baseball bat, asked a neighbor to accompany him and headed to the deserted trail. Once there, Mulvihill and his neighbor heard a rustle in the bushes, saw the barrel of a gun and then the flash of gunfire.
Mulvihill, 47, was struck in the side but survived.
After the shooting, authorities were able to piece together the scheme.
Investigators discovered surveillance footage of Lovejoy purchasing the burner phone McDavid used to call Mulvihill.
Investigators also found the AR-15-style rifle used to shoot Mulvihill in the garage of McDavid’s home, and cell phone tower data placed both McDavid and Lovejoy near the hiking trail on the night of the shooting. According to police, Lovejoy planned to pay McDavid $2,000 — and she drove him to the area where the shooting took place.
DNA found near the trail also placed McDavid at the scene of the crime, authorities said.
Lawyers for Lovejoy and McDavid argued during the two-week trial in a Vista, California, courtroom 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.
Testifying in his own defense, McDavid, a former Marine and a weapons expert, argued that if he had intended to kill Mulvihill, he would not have missed.
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“I could hit that person – center mass – 100 yards away without any problem,” he testified, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Asked by Canning if he felt he had been manipulated by Lovejoy, McDavid answered “No,” adding that he acted on a desire to help her and her son.
“It’s been said you have a ‘misguided hero complex:’ What do you say to that?” asked Canning.
“I’m no one’s hero,” replied McDavid. “Not at all. …if trying to help someone is ‘misguided hero,’ then so be it. ”
The Dateline episode is scheduled to air on Friday, March 23 at 10/9 central on NBC.