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Was Utah woman shot five times the target of murder-for-hire plot?

Victim says estranged husband had previously hired someone to kill her, court documents say

Los Angeles police are looking for a robber who beat three homeless men with a baseball bat, leaving them in critical condition.
As Orem police continue to investigate the case of a woman who was shot multiple times outside her town house last month, new court documents reveal that the woman may have had a "hit" placed on her life before.
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SALT LAKE CITY — As Orem police continue to investigate the case of a woman who was shot multiple times outside her town house last month, new court documents reveal that the woman may have had a "hit" placed on her life before.

On March 7, the 38-year-old woman was trying to enter her west Orem home about 7:20 p.m. when she was shot multiple times by a gunman wearing a motorcycle helmet before she was able to get inside and shut the door. She survived the attack.

Investigators have served numerous search warrants since then, trying to collect evidence that they hope will help solve the case.

The woman was shot at eight times and hit five times — "three times in the right leg, once in the back, which exited and broke her ribs, and three graze wounds from various rounds," according to the warrants.

When she was out of surgery and able to be interviewed by police, Diana Lisseth Welch told investigators that "she was approached by an unknown subject in a black motorcycle helmet. … The victim disclosed that she asked the unknown subject what they wanted. The victim disclosed they didn't respond, so she moved to get to her front door quickly in order to get in the home. The victim disclosed it was at this point when she got to the front door, the unknown subject brandished a firearm and began to fire rounds at her," the warrant states.

Police previously said they did not believe the attack was random and that Welch currently had a protective order out against an undisclosed man. Police said that man was one of several people whom they wanted to question.

Court records indicate that Welch filed for a protective order against her estranged husband in July, about the same time she filed for divorce.

At the hospital, Welch told police that she and her estranged husband "are in a property and assets dispute. The victim disclosed when asked if anyone was out to harm her, she advised that (he) has attempted to pay someone in the past to kill her," a search warrant affidavit filed in 4th District Court states.

Welch reported the alleged murder-for-hire plot in December, according to police. In that case, another man told her the he was approached by the estranged husband who "asked him to kill his wife. (He) advised the victim that he referred to this as a 'job' for him and (the husband) made motions of his hands indicating a gun, pre-loading of a gun, (and) by pulling the slide to the rear and loading a gun," the affidavit states.

When that man was questioned by police, however, investigators noted he "was visibly scared and would not comply when asked about the allegations."

The estranged husband was also questioned by Orem police.

"Orem officers stated (he) denied the allegations and nothing further came of the report. This marked the first potential conspiracy to commit murder for monetary gain for (him)," the warrant states.

The estranged husband was also questioned about the March 7 shooting on that day.

"(He) was compliant and provided several details as to his whereabouts prior to the shooting that took place," according to a affidavit.

While being interviewed by police, the husband also allowed detectives to extract data from his cellphone. In one string of messages, police say the husband asks a second man about returning his trailer, but the man tells him he doesn't know when he can return it.

The estranged husband then tells the man "he is 'out of games,' to stop hiding, return the trailer or he is reporting (the man) to the police," the warrant states.

The man responds by saying he doesn't understand why the estranged husband is getting so upset.

"'I did a lot of work on that trailer trying to help you out just never heard much from you and that last conversation we had, I'll be honest that sort of scared me. I have a family and a wife at home. I don't know about you but when somebody asks you to kill somebody and it scares you, you usually run or hide or stay the (expletive) away from it," investigators noted in the affidavit. "This marked the second time it was reported that (the husband) had potentially asked someone to kill someone."

When interviewed in person by police, the man said he arranged to meet with the estranged husband to purchase the trailer. But he was told not bring his cellphone or any other electronic devices.

He stated that the husband "searched him when he got to the location and proceeded to ask him … to kill someone for a million dollars and the trailer he was inquiring about. (The man) stated he turned down (the) offer and moved forward with the trailer purchase," according to the warrant.

On March 8, Welch's family contacted police that they had received information from an informant who claimed he was "propositioned … to kill (the husband's ex-wife) in Belgium for $50,000," according to the warrant.

"This marked the third potential conspiracy to commit murder for monetary gain for (the estranged husband)," police wrote in the affidavit.

As of Friday, no arrests have been made and no criminal charges have been filed. A call placed to the estranged husband's attorney was not immediately returned. The search warrants were to collect data from cellphones and other electronic devices.

Orem Police Lt. Craig Martinez on Thursday declined to comment about the case, saying only that it is still an "active investigation."

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Orem police at 801-229-7070.