Gun Instructor Involved in Alleged ‘Murder-for-Hire' Plot Has Ties to Another High-Profile Case

A gun instructor charged in an alleged murder-for-hire plot has ties to another high-profile Carlsbad case. 

Weldon McDavid Jr., 49, and Diana Lovejoy, 43, are being held on $2 million bail, accused of shooting Lovejoy’s estranged husband.

Lovejoy and her husband had been involved in an ugly two year divorce battle. 

According to police, Lovejoy and McDavid allegedly lured her estranged husband to an isolated access road off Avenida Soledad in Carlsbad on Sept. 2., where he was shot once in the side. The shooting prompted a lock down of the neighborhood while authorities searched the area.

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

The victim did survive the shooting.

The same McDavid was the gun instructor for Crystal Harris, who was allegedly raped by her husband. 

On Dateline NBC in 2013, he talked about his anger after hearing tapes of Harris allegedly being raped by her husband.

"It was too much," he said. "I wanted to kill him."

In the interview, he talked about teaching Harris to fire under pressure.

"I had her do exercises, then run into the range and told her grab the gun shoot," he said in the interview.

Harris ended up chosing no to use a gun and instead took her husband to court. 

A legal expert not tied to the case says the Dateline interview will likely play a part in his trial.

"Prosecution is going to try to get that evidence in," said Gretchen Von Helms. "They're absolutely going to try and paint him as violent individual vigilante, as someone taking rules into his own hands."

Mc David's attorney, Rafael Acosta Jr., says the flip side is true. He says the 49-year-old veteran is a family man; a compassionate person who likes to help others.

He says the only connection to the cases is a man who was trying to train two women in need.

If convicted, McDavid is facing 50 years to life in prison while Lovejoy faces 25 years to life. According to the prosecutor in the case, Lovejoy is facing the lesser term because she did not pull the trigger, but was ‘vicariously armed with a firearm’ and was aware and participated in the shooting.

Lovejoy and McDavid are scheduled to be back in court on September 21.

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