It all began with a late-night phone call from a mysterious stranger recounted Greg Mulvihill. It was the night of September 1, 2016, the night he was supposed to die according to the prosecution. On October 31, 2017, Greg Mulvihill took the witness stand in the trial of his ex-wife Diana Lovejoy, 45, and her weapons instructor and sometime lover, Weldon McDavid, 50. Both charged with conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder, a jury was tasked with determining what really happened that September night. Was it a botched murder plot, or was it a plan for the higher good of saving a child from abuse?
In the San Diego courtroom of Judge Sim Von Kalinowski, all eyes and television cameras were glued on the 6’3” Mulvihill as he began reliving the night he was shot. At 10:44 p.m. on September 1, 2016, Mulvihill received a phone call from a man with a deep voice who identified himself as a criminal investigator hired by his ex-wife.The man told him he had documents he would want to see, evidence of him abusing his son which his ex-wife could use against him in court. He had to decide if he wanted to see these documents the man informed him. He would call back.
The ugly divorce and bitter custody battle between Diana Lovejoy and Greg Mulvihill had lasted two years and three months, and had drained both parties emotionally and financially. But at last, the end appeared in sight. A divorce settlement had been reached on June 27, 2016, and the final financial aspects would be completed by September 27, 2016. It had been a long road, starting with the temporary restraining order Mulvihill had been served with on July 9, 2014, in which Lovejoy alleged Mulvihill had sexually assaulted her, raised concerns of abuse of their young son, and claimed Mulvihill abused drugs. Mulvihill had been removed from the marital home that very day and all contact with his son immediately ceased. Denying the charges, he hired legal counsel and was eventually given supervised visitation, and in November of 2015, he had regained 50/50 custody. Now with this phone call, Greg Mulvihill feared his ex-wife was going to reopen the custody case. After all the time, money and emotional energy he had spent on the case, he decided he had no choice but to see the documents.
The man called again and informed him a package would be taped to a power pole off a dirt path on Avenida Soledad and Rancho Santa Fe Road. It was near Mulvihill’s residence in the city of Carlsbad, an area familiar to him as he had hiked the path in recent years. “This is your one chance,” the caller said before terminating the call.
“I Think I’ve Been Shot”
Following the disturbing phone call, and feeling apprehensive, Mulvihill called the Carlsbad Police Department and spoke with the dispatcher. He explained what had just happened and sought advice as to what to do. The dispatcher told him it was up to him if he wanted to go. So Mulvihill called his boss, Jason Kovach, who happened to live in the same condominium complex and asked him to accompany him. Kovach agreed. Mulvihill grabbed a flashlight and a child’s aluminum baseball bat and drove them to the secluded area. The duo walked up the dirt path with Mulvihill lighting the dark way with his flashlight. As they neared the power pole, Mulvihill saw a towel at the base of the pole, which from his distance appeared to be nicely folded. He did not proceed any further, staying about 10-15 feet from the pole.
Seeing nothing taped to the pole, his suspicions were aroused, and he began to scan the area with his light. Approximately 60 feet beyond the pole, in some bushes, he saw what appeared to be a small pile of clothes. As the light became more focused, he suddenly realized he was looking at the barrel of a gun and a person tucked within the bushes.
Almost simultaneously with this realization, he felt like he had been hit in the back. (He had actually been shot under his left armpit, but the bullet had gone through to the back). His mind told him to “Run!” he testified. He couldn’t remember whether it was Kovach or himself who yelled out “Gun” or “Run,” but after the first shot was fired, both men began running for their lives. As they ran back down the path they had come, six to seven more shots passed them.
Mulvihill reached his car which he had parked on Avenida Soledad, and backed it down the hill in reverse. Kovach, in his fear had run past the car, and had kept on running without stop. Mulvihill picked him up on Rancho Santa Fe Road, and the terrified Kovach asked him, “Were you shot?” Mulvihill replied, “I don’t know.” Mulvihill kept on driving, but when he put his hand on his left side, his hand was covered in blood and he said, “I think I’ve been shot.” In that moment, he knew he needed to get to a hospital, but he started to feel dizzy, and pulled over in front of a bus stop. Kovach was on the phone to 911 as Mulvihill began to lose consciousness.
“He Was Lying on the Ground in the Sniper Position”
Jason Kovach’s voice broke with emotion as he described how he ran for his life the night he felt bullets passing by him, prompting Deputy District Attorney Jodi Breton to ask, “Are you ok?” Sitting on the witness stand, reliving the night of September 1, 2016, was clearly something Kovach found difficult.
Kovach told of clutching the baseball bat as he walked with Mulvihill up the dark path. Drawing closer to the pole, Kovach heard rustling and thought it was a bum sleeping in the bushes. He walked around the right side of the pole looking for the promised package, but only saw a blue towel neatly folded with an Angry Bird emblem staring up at him. When Mulvihill shown the light on the area where he first saw the bum, he now saw a gun barrel and someone in camouflage “lying on the ground in a sniper position.” At trial, he could not recall whether it was Mulvihill or himself who yelled out, “Gun!” but in a statement he wrote after the shooting, he recalled Mulvihill yelled, “He has a gun!” After the first shot, “I ran as fast as I could down that path,” testified Kovach.
Attorney Breton played Kovach’s 911 call, and Kovach’s distress filled voice flooded the courtroom as he summoned help for the fading Mulvihill. The Carlsbad police arrived and seeing the blood soaked Mulvihill, placed him in their squad car and drove him to the hospital at Scripps Encinitas. Mulvihill was soon transferred to the trauma center at Scripps La Jolla, where he went into immediate surgery.
To continue reading about what happened in this riveting and unbelievable trial, please go to Aleida K. Wahn’s book, Murder Trials We Can’t Forget And Other True Cases. Aleida was there inside the courtroom for every minute and now shares the extraordinary details of what really happened in these gripping and unforgettable trials. Order your copy today at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B2YLWD1X
About Aleida K. Wahn, Esq.
I am an attorney, award-winning true crime writer, and legal analyst of criminal cases. I cover criminal trials and write stories and books about compelling, gripping, and unforgettable cases that impact our world. I take you into the courtroom in high-profile murder trials, rape cases, crimes of passion, cases involving mental illness, deviant behavior, and more. I have a deep passion for true crime, criminal law, and all aspects of the criminal justice system. I have appeared as an expert on true crime shows, including “48 Hours,” “Snapped,” and “The Dead Files,” and provided legal analysis on high-profile criminal trials on Court TV, the Law & Crime Trial Network, Fox 5 News, ABC 10 News, and KUSI News. I also create and host shows with the Del Mar Television Producers Group, addressing criminal justice and social issues in recent criminal trials.
I provided my insight and legal analysis on Court TV and the Law & Crime Trial Network of the high-profile trial of former NFL star Kellen Winslow Jr. It was a trial that captured the nation as the heralded ex-football star with fame, fortune, and a famous name stood accused of multiple rapes and other sex crimes involving five women. As the trial delved into shocking facts, complicated legal issues, and unexpected twists and turns, I was there for every minute. After the trial, I wrote a book on the case, going behind the headlines to share the extraordinary details of what happened inside the courtroom. Judging Winslow Jr.: From NFL Star to Serial Rapist? Inside the Shocking Rape Trial of Kellen Boswell Winslow II is now available on Amazon.
I am passionate about telling true crime stories, as these penetrating stories have the power to move us all, while highlighting societal issues which need to be addressed. I have personally seen the human devastation which is present in each trial and believe there is a lesson to be learned in every single case. It is through awareness and examining critical issues society can effect change and even make new laws. To learn more, please visit: https://www.aleidalaw.com.
Read about the gripping and unforgettable trials that I have covered in my latest books: