Woman convicted in murder-for-hire plot faints in court after hearing verdict

SAN DIEGO — A California woman fainted in court on Monday after being convicted in a murder-for-hire plot against her estranged husband, interrupting the jury's verdicts and briefly delaying court proceedings against a second defendant.

Diana Lovejoy, 45, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder in the Sept. 1, 2016 attack of Greg Mulvihill, according to CW39 sister station KSWB in San Diego.

Lovejoy appeared to pass out after she was convicted on the two counts, courtroom video showed.

The judge then recessed the proceedings, briefly delaying the reading of the jury's verdict against a second defendant in the case, 50-year-old Weldon McDavid Jr.

The Marine veteran was also convicted of attempted murder, as well as an assault with a deadly weapon charge; he openly wept as the second part of the verdict was handed down, KSWB reported.

Prosecutors said that Lovejoy had accused Mulvihill, 45, of molesting the couple's young son and sexually abusing her, according to the station. The couple separated in July 2014.

The divorce was nearly finalized and Mulvihill was trying to reclaim his life when the incident took place.

On the night of Sept. 1, the victim received a phone call from a person claiming to be a private instigator, prosecutors said. The caller also claimed to have information on Lovejoy, and instructed Mulvihill to go to a dirt road in Carlsbad where he could pick up a package pertaining to his estranged wife.

The victim drove to the area with a co-worker and was attempting to find the package when, according to witness testimony, the pair saw rustling in the bushes and noticed what looked like a person pointing a rifle at them.

After shots rang out, the two men ran away, with Mulvihill wounded.

Police later determined Lovejoy had purchased the phone used in the call, according to prosecutors. Investigators were able to trace McDavid to the scene of the shooting through feces that were found in the bushes.

Several guns were found in McDavid's garage, along with a silencer and a "blast bag" that contained some spent shell casings, prosecutors said.

McDavid's attorney said his client opened fire only after hearing someone yell, "I have a gun," KSWB reported.

He added  McDavid was a trained marksman and that, "If Weldon McDavid wanted to kill someone with his skill set, he would have done so. ... That was not his intent."

Lovejoy met McDavid when she started taking lessons at the shooting range where he worked, according to the McDavid's attorney. At some point, Lovejoy told him Mulvihill was allegedly abusing her son, and that she had been trying to get someone to do something about it for years.

She had secured a temporary restraining order against him after alleging he'd been abusing her and their child, but it lapsed, Lovejoy's attorney said.

Lovejoy was still concerned about Mulvihill, but "at no time was there a discussion (or) conspiracy to murder her husband," her attorney told the jury.

Jurors deliberated for about two days before reaching the verdicts.

Lovejoy and McDavid face 25 years to life and 50 years to life respectively when they are sentenced next month, according to KSWB.