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Crime News Snapped

Gun Instructor Attempts To Murder His Lover's Husband In Sniper Ambush

But did she also want her husband dead?

By Sowmya Krishnamurthy
Snapped 2406: The Ambush

Murders A-Z is a collection of true crime stories that take an in-depth look at both little-known and infamous murders throughout history.

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On September 1, 2016, Jason Kovach called 911 to report that his friend had ben shot.

"He's bleeding pretty bad," Kovach told Carlsbad Police about the victim, 47-year-old Greg Mulvihill. Upon questioning, Kovach claimed that he and the victim had been attacked at a nearby trail by a sniper.

But how did a mild-mannered computer programmer like Mulvihill get involved in such a random and violent ambush?

Greg Mulvihill was a regular California tech guy. In 2005, he met Diana Lovejoy, his future wife, on a dating site. Everyone remembered the pair being the perfect match.

"They were both kind of outdoorsy people. They were just kind of both at a time in their lives where they’re looking to, um, get married and settle down and have kids," prosecutor Jodi Brenton told Oxygen's "Snapped."

They got hitched two years later and purchased a beautiful home in Carlsbad, California. In 2012, they welcomed their first child.

But by 2014, cracks in the storybook facade began to show. Mulvihill was forced into unemployment, which placed Lovejoy into the role of sole provider. Friends remember she had chronic fatigue and believed her health was fading. 

"She believed that she had fibromyalgia and believed that her son had an illness that all stemmed from some kidney illness," said Brenton. Eventually, Lovejoy's health and other issues led to the couple splitting in 2014. By 2016, both Mulvihill and Lovejoy were working and co-parenting, even though their divorce wasn't finalized.

"Diana's an amazing mother and loves her child more than anything else," her friend Jennifer Natelli told "Snapped." 

So what happened between then and the night of the shooting?

Investigators questioned Kovach, who revealed that the victim received a mysterious call that night about dirt on his ex that would help in their divorce proceedings.

"Mr. Mulvihill received a phone call from this person saying he was an investigator and had this information that he was wanting to sell to Mr. Mulvihill. He was going to provide, uh, evidence," said Carlsbad Police Detectice Scott Stallman.

Kovach claimed Mulvihill had no idea what this evidence could be, and he asked Kovach to come with him to pick up the anonymous caller's documents.

The two men went to the isolated spot the caller had specified with a child's baseball bat and mountain bike light. That's when they saw "somebody in camouflage, on their belly, with a rifle," explained Brenton. The two ran from the scene, but the man fired multiple rounds. Mulvihill was shot once under the armpit, and he survived after an emergency surgery, the San Diego Reader reported. 

Authorities, however, weren't buying the story. 

Carlsbad Fingerprint and Evidence Specialist Kristine Duran told "Snapped," "We didn't know what to think honestly because, uh, his story, it sounded crazy. We thought that there's something missing."

At the scene, police were unable to locate the shooter or shell casings, but they did find a towel covered in feces, which was sent for DNA analysis.

A recovering Mulvihill told authorities that he and Lovejoy were having issues for years and that their separation was anything but ambicable. According to Mulvihill, Lovejoy was convinced their son was suffering from an illness, even when people told her otherwise. 

Brenton said, "She refused to have the boy be seen by any of the specialists at Children’s Hospital. She believed that her son needed to be on massive doses of guaifenesin. It’s like a Mucinex."

Along with disagreeing over their son's medical care, Lovejoy alleged Mulvihill was abusive. Lovejoy said that in 2014, when she began having symptoms of chronic fatigue, she would wake up "groggy and sore" in the morning.

"She felt that Greg had raped her several times when she was unconscious. ... She believed he had drugged her," said friend Neola Mace.

Mulvihill reportedly denied the allegations, and the divorce negotiations began.

Mace told "Snapped," "[Diana] told me that Greg had threatened her and that if she tried to, um, get sole custody of their son that he would do something to her. She was afraid of him."

Around this time, Lovejoy started firearms training and became close with her gun instructor, Weldon McDavid, a former Marine sniper. Weeks later, the court ruled that there was no evidence that Mulvihill had sexually assaulted Lovejoy, and that they should share custody fifty-fifty. According to Lovejoy, McDavid was furious for her.

With a new name in the mix, authorities tested the feces at the crime scene against McDavid's DNA. It was a match. After executing a search warrant at McDavid's property, investigators also located the gun used in Mulvihill's shooting.

Authorites then found security footage of the person who purchased the burner phone that made the anonymous call to Mulvihill — his soon-to-be-ex-wife, Diana Lovejoy. During questioning, Lovejoy admitted that she purchased the burner phone that was used to call her ex the night of the incident. She also said that she and McDavid were more than just gun buddies — they were having an affair, and he had offered to help her regain full custody of her son. 

Felix Salazar of the Carlsbad Police told "Snapped," "McDavid told her that he would protect her and help her out with the custody battle and put together this idea of luring him to an area where McDavid can scare him, and then she can get custody of her son."

McDavid was also reportedly paid $2,000 to carry out the assassination. 

Lovejoy and McDavid were arrested for attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder, reported Fox5 San Diego. Everyone in town was shocked, especially the Mulvihill.

"He’d never in his wildest dreams imagined that his wife could have been behind it. He just, he simply could not believe it," said Brenton.

Lovejoy and McDavid both pleaded not guilty and denied that they conspired to murder Mulvihill. McDavid said that with his background, if he had really intended to gun down Mulvhill, he would not have missed the kill shot.

“I could hit that person — center mass — 100 yards away without any problem,” he said.

On November 13, 2017, Lovejoy and McDavid were convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder, reported The San Diego Tribune. Lovejoy received 26 years to life, while McDavid got 50 years to life, according to Fox5 San Diego.

[Photo: Oxygen Screengrab]

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