Defendant Faints Following Guilty Verdict in Carlsbad Murder For Hire Case

A stunned Diana Lovejoy leaned to the side of her chair and then appeared to faint

One of the defendants fainted while the court clerk was reading the verdict in the bizarre attempted murder case involving a veteran U.S. Marine/gun instructor and the victim's estranged wife.

Diana Lovejoy was convicted Monday of hiring her firearms instructor, Weldon McDavid Jr., to shoot her estranged husband, Gregory Mulvihill. 

The September 2016 shooting involved a contentious and expensive legal battle over child custody between Lovejoy and Mulvihill.

As the court clerk was reading the jury's verdict, Lovejoy appeared to be stunned when she heard the verdict of guilty on counts of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

While the clerk moved on to the verdict for the co-defendant, Lovejoy leaned to the side of her chair and then appeared to faint.

Judge Sim Von Kalinowski ordered the courtroom cleared while emergency personnel attended to Lovejoy.

A bailiff handcuffed McDavid who sat just a few feet away. 

When court resumed approximately a half hour later, the verdict was read for McDavid - guilty of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder. He was also found guilty of intentionally discharging a firearm with intent to inflict great bodily injury.

He faces 50 years to life in prison and Lovejoy faces 25 years to life when sentenced. 

McDavid testified during the trial that he called Mulvihill alleging that he had documents the victim "would want to see." During the late-night phone call, the men arranged to meet in a remote area near the victim's apartment. 

When Mulvihill arrived at the area off Avenida Soledad, he did not find documents near a light pole as promised. 

Instead, he and a friend he had brought for protection saw a man laying on his stomach in a sniper position holding a rifle in their direction. 

Mulvihill was shot in the back and heard six or seven shots several seconds later. 

McDavid testified that he fired a shot after he believed Mulvihill said he had a gun. 

McDavid's defense attorney told jurors in his opening statement that the Marine's gun skills were so expert that if he were hired to kill Mulvihill, he would have done so.

The phone used to call Mulvihill led investigators to a so-called “burner phone." Prosecutors provided images to jurors showing the phone was purchased by Lovejoy.

There was also DNA evidence linking McDavid to the scene of the shooting. 

That DNA came from a towel used after McDavid defecated near the shooting scene, prosecutors said. The towel with an Angry Birds character on it was folded and left on the ground.

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

McDavid testified that he and Lovejoy had a brief sexual relationship that began in June, months before the shooting.

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