Atlanta attorney Claud “Tex” McIver was indicted on murder charges Thursday following months of investigation by Fulton County prosecutors convinced the shooting of his wife was no accident.
A Fulton grand jury returned an indictment after hearing several weeks of evidence, District Attorney Paul Howard said in a press release. McIver is charged with malice murder, felony murder and five other counts in the September 2016 death of Diane McIver.
TIMELINE: Events in the McIver case
RELATED: Bond revoked, McIver jailed
Police had charged him with reckless conduct and involuntary manslaughter, suggesting he didn’t mean to pull the trigger.
McIver’s behavior after the murder appeared to be a major factor in bringing the new charges. According to the charging documents, McIver instructed Patricia “Dani Jo” Carter, a friend of his wife who was driving the couple when the shooting occurred, to tell police she wasn't there.
Less than two weeks later, on October 6, the indictment states, McIver left a voicemail with Carter’s husband, Thomas Carter, asking him 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 then asked Thomas Carter to delete that voicemail.
The indictment also alleges that McIver told Bill Crane, who was acting as a spokesman immediately after the shooting, to retract a statement made to media.
At the time, Crane told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that when the McIvers pulled off the interstate, Tex McIver feared they had happened upon a Black Lives Matter protest. That’s why he pulled out the gun, he said. Crane said the gun went off soon after when their SUV hit a bump.
McIver was sent to jail on Wednesday after a judge revoked his bond following the discovery of a pistol in his condo.
Now facing murder charges, McIver will be held with no possibility for bond until his case is assigned to a Fulton Superior Court judge. He’ll be arraigned shortly thereafter.
McIver was also indicted for attempting to unlawfully influence witnesses in his case. Each counts carries a sentence of two to 10 years in prison.
McIver’s attorney, Stephen Maples, said he was disappointed with the prosecutor’s decision.
“He has cooperated with every step of this investigation,” Maples said.
“He sat down with police and when they requested financial records he provided them. The Atlanta Police Department did not find any evidence of murder and refused to charge him with it.”
Maples said the case would hinge on forensic evidence from the SUV where the shooting took place, which he said would exonerate his client.