When the gun of Atlanta attorney Claud “Tex” McIver went off in a car and killed his wife Diane McIver, he insisted that he pulled out the gun when he thought that they have inadvertently driven into a Black Lives Matter protest. Police however believe that McIver intentionally shot his wife and then sought to cover up the crime with a friend who was driving the car. The case involves a series of factual and legal twists.
The police have investigated the shooting for months and then secured an indictment from a grand jury for malice murder, felony murder and five other counts. McIver insisted that he did not intend to pull the trigger. However, prosecutors allege that he told Patricia “Dani Jo” Carter, a friend of his wife, to deny that she was there even though she was driving the SUV.
If the indictment is true, McIver showed remarkably poor judgment for an attorney, particularly in leaving a voicemail that allegedly told Carter’s husband, Thomas Carter, to stop his wife from “communicating her recollections of the facts and circumstances of the death of Diane McIver to law enforcement officers, because said statements placed the defendant at imminent risk of immediate incarceration.” He added that Carter should destroy the voicemail after he listened to it. That would obviously be a devastating piece of evidence in a trial.
Initially, McIver was given bond on the charges but that bond was revoked after a gun was found in his sock drawer. Under his bond, he could not have any firearms.
These allegations were used to secure an indictment for attempting to unlawfully influence witnesses in his case.
Adding to this drama is the fact that McIver owed his wife $350,000 that he borrowed in 2012 from her business Clay Management Co. Notably, he agreed to pay interest on the loan but then failed to pay it back in 2014. He was given an extension to 2017.
Another interesting twist is that McIver sold his wife’s furs and precious belongings to support his legal team for roughly $1.1 million. However, after the auction, the prosecutor secured a stay under the state’s “Slayer Law,” which prevents someone who caused the death of another person from receiving the proceeds of an estate, trust or life insurance policy. The auction was stopped even though McIver had not been found guilty of the crime at the time.
McIver was a prominent partner at Fisher Phillips, where specialized in employment law on the defense side. He defended employers in more than 200 union organizing campaigns.