San Diego

Date Set for Carlsbad Murder-for-Hire Trial

Diana Lovejoy and Weldon McDavid are accused of conspiring to kill Lovejoy's estranged husband

A trial date has been set for an alleged murder for hire that involved an ambush, a mysterious phone call, and a contentious custody battle. 

Diana Lovejoy is accused of hiring her firearms instructor Weldon McDavid shoot her estranged husband Gregory Mulvihill. 

The case will go to trial on October 4, a judge decided Tuesday.

Mulvihill was shot in the chest along an isolated access road off Avenida Soledad on September 2, 2016.

Lovejoy and Mulvihill separated in 2014 and had joint custody of the couple’s son. Prior to that, Mulvihill had 10 hours of visitation per week.

Hours before the shooting, Mulvihill got a call from a “man with a deep voice” identifying himself as a criminal investigator and offering information he would want.

Mulvihill asked a co-worker to join him as he met up with the person on the other end of that call.

As the men walked toward the location, Mulvihill said he saw a rifle on the ground.

"I stared out for a couple of seconds before I realized I was looking at a rifle and a scope,” he testified.

Mulvihill testified he heard one gun shot and said he felt like he was shot in his back. As he turned and ran from the area, he heard six or seven shots several seconds later, he testified. His co-worker was not injured. 

Under cross-examination, Mulvihill testified there was a restraining order and an allegation of domestic violence at the time of his separation from his ex-wife. Also, the initial custody agreement required supervised visitation with Mulvihill.

A family member testified Lovejoy had asked for help finding someone who could kill or scare her husband. The aunt also said Lovejoy was afraid of Mulvihill.

Carlsbad police say McDavid, an employee at a shooting range in Oceanside, had been teaching Lovejoy how to shoot.

According to testimony, McDavid defecated near the shooting scene, used a towel to wipe himself, and then left the towel on the ground.

McDavid's attorney, Rafael Acosta Jr., told NBC 7 his client is a veteran, a family man and a compassionate person who likes to help others. He said the only connection to the case is a man who was trying to train women in need.

If convicted, McDavid could 50 years to life in prison while Lovejoy faces 25 years to life.

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