Tex McIver juror: ‘He’s going to jail!’

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff’s Office

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff’s Office

Atlanta attorney Claud "Tex" McIver was found guilty on Monday of felony murder and other charges, ending a tragic saga that began with the fatal shooting of his wife, Diane, in September 2016.

The charge carries a mandatory sentence of life behind bars.

The jury acquitted McIver of malice murder, which would have meant the killing was intentional. But the prominent Atlanta attorney was found guilty of four lesser charges, including aggravated assault, possession of firearm and and witness influencing.

MORE: The Tex McIver verdict, charge by charge

MORE: A look at the Tex McIver jury

McIver, 75, showed no emotion as the verdict was read. He took off his belt, gave it to one of his attorneys, placed his hands behind his back to be handcuffed and was led from the courtroom by sheriffs deputies.

He was being booked into the Fulton County Jail Monday night, officials said.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard was in the courtroom for the verdict and afterward received congratulatory hugs and pats on the back from onlookers.

Credit: Bob Andres

Credit: Bob Andres

Sentencing will come at a later date. The judge will decide if McIver is eligible for parole.

The jurors were escorted from the courtroom late Monday after announcing their decision. Most declined to speak. But one — a black woman known as juror 61  — responded to a shouted question from reporters.

“He's guilty!” she said. “He's going to jail!”

Diane McIver’s longtime mentor, Billy Corey, appeared at a news conference after the verdict with prosecutors.

“They stood up for Diane,” Corey said.

The defense team had no immediate comment.

Credit: Bob Andres

Credit: Bob Andres

The jury of seven women and five men deliberated for roughly 29 hours over five days before reaching a decision.  They heard from 78 witnesses in testimony that spanned six weeks.

Earlier Monday they had said they were deadlocked.

Judge Robert McBurney read them an “Allen charge” urging them to keep working to reach a consensus.

A few hours later, they said they had reached a verdict.

Credit: Bob Andres

Credit: Bob Andres

A person is guilty of felony murder if they kill someone while committing another felony. In this case, that was aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

McIver was charged with shooting his wife as they rode in their SUV near Atlanta’s Piedmont Park in September 2016.

McIver had maintained the shooting was a terrible accident. But prosecutors have said McIver shot his 64-year-old wife on purpose because of money troubles.

The case, with its near-constant twists and turns, has attracted intense interest, providing a window into Buckhead’s circle of wealthy elite.

Before the shooting, Tex McIver was a politically-connected attorney. Diane McIver was a powerful businesswoman who led Atlanta-based U.S. Enterprises.

Credit: Bob Andres

Credit: Bob Andres