Carlsbad woman who lured husband into ambush gets maximum sentence

VISTA, Calif. -- A woman and her gun instructor were sentenced to life prison terms Wednesday for carrying out a botched plot to shoot and kill the woman's estranged husband, who survived the attack on a dark dirt road in Carlsbad.

Diana Lovejoy makes a tearful statement before her sentencing.

Diana Lovejoy, now the ex-wife of victim Greg Mulvihill, was sentenced to 26 years to life in prison. Weldon McDavid, 50, was sentenced to 50 years to life. Both continued during the sentencing hearing to maintain their innocence.

"I still have faith that the truth will come out,'' the 45-year-old Lovejoy said. "I'm not capable of doing these things.''

McDavid added, "I did not intend to shoot Mr. Mulvihill. There was no intent to kill.''

Both were convicted Nov. 13 of conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder.

Prosecutor Jodi Breton told jurors that Mulvihill got a call just before 11 p.m. Sept. 1, 2016, from a person claiming to be a private investigator, who supposedly had information on his estranged wife.

The caller instructed Mulvihill to go to a dirt road where he could pick up a package containing materials pertaining to Lovejoy, according to the prosecutor. Mulvihill and a co-worker, Jason Kovach, drove to the area and used a flashlight to look for a package taped to a power pole.

Kovach testified that they saw some rustling in the bushes, then noticed what looked like a person lying in a prone position with a rifle pointed at them. The witness said shots rang out, and he and a wounded Mulvihill took off running.

Breton said Mulvihill, 45, was trying to reclaim his life after Lovejoy had claimed that he had molested their young son and sexually abused her. The couple had been separated since July 2014 and were in the final stages of completing their divorce.

Carlsbad police determined that the phone used to call Mulvihill was purchased by Lovejoy, and feces found in the bushes at the scene of the shooting were traced to McDavid, the prosecutor said.

Investigators found a multitude of guns and a silencer in McDavid's garage, and a "blast bag'' containing seven spent shell casings, Breton told the jury.

McDavid's attorney, Ricky Crawford, said his client was a trained marksman and former Marine who fired his rifle only after he heard someone yell "I have a gun!'' If McDavid wanted to kill someone he would have, Crawford told the jury.

McDavid echoed that sentiment during Wednesday's sentencing hearing, saying, "If I intended to kill Mr. Mulvihill, he would have been dead. ... My only hope is that this will be rectified on appeal.''

Brad Patton, Lovejoy's attorney, said his client had taken out a temporary restraining order against Mulvihill because, she claimed, he was abusing her and their son.