The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action news will bring you LIVE gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Tex McIver murder trial. Check back each day for a live blog from the courtroom and daily video recaps. Visit myajc.com/crime/ for previous coverage of the case and a link to our Breakdown podcast.
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This is our live recounting of testimony occurring in the courtroom today:
Court has concluded for the week after the jury heard from Anthony Shaw, a security officer at Emory. Shaw testified that after he realized Diane McIver had been shot he called police officers. An Atlanta police officer told Shaw to separate Tex McIver and Dani Jo Carter, Diane McIver’s friend who was driving the SUV.
Dr. Rosing is describing treating Tex McIver for anxiety and depression at Emory a few hours after his wife died. Rosing said McIver wasn’t exhibiting any physical signs of anxiety besides being tearful. He gave McIver a dosage of Atavan and four low-dose Xanax tablets.
Dr. Mark Rosing walks into the court wearing camouflage pants and a black hooded sweatshirt with SWAT emblazoned on the back. “May I assume you are not coming from the hospital?” Judge Robert McBurney asked. Rosing explained that today he was providing medical support to a police SWAT team.
Another Emory nurse is testifying. Ryan Johnson is describing how he treated Tex McIver for anxiety several hours after he learned his wife had died. When he provided his medical history to Johnson McIver noted that he had high cholesterol but didn’t mention a sleep disorder or amnesia. Defense lawyers have suggested McIver suffered from both and implied they may have played a role in the shooting.
Charlotte Armstrong, an emergency room assistant at Emory, is describing sitting with Tex McIver as he received word that his wife didn’t make survive surgery. According to Armstrong, after learning his wife had died Tex McIver said, “she didn’t have any family and that’s what drew me to her.”
Tex McIver also made a perplexing statement.
“He said he needed to call the boys and say ‘Danny Boy did good,’” Armstrong testifies.
Under questioning from defense attorney Don Samuel, Dr. Hardy says she has seen patients and family members process grief differently. They are clearly seeking to show that Tex McIver’s calm reaction to his wife’s dire condition was not out of the ordinary. They are also asking about Diane McIver’s statement that she did not want to see her husband. Dr. Hardy said McIver did not appear angry.
Dr. Hardy said soon after she was intubated, Diane McIver went into cardiac arrest and doctors had to open her chest. They were able to start her heart again and she was taken to the operating room. Dr. Hardy said when she informed Tex McIver of his wife’s condition he was “calm and collected.”
Dr. Hardy says that when Diane McIver arrived at the hospital her blood pressure barely registered. After receiving fluids through an IV, McIver began to speak. She said her husband had been holding the gun “behind her back.” McIver paused and then volunteered that it “was an accident,” apparently referring to the shooting. Dr. Hardy said she prepared to intubate McIver in anticipation of taking her to the operating room. Before doing so the doctor asked her a question.
“Would you like to see your husband?” the doctor asked. “No,” Diane McIver replied.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard has entered the courtroom and is watching the questioning of Dr. Hardy.
Court is back in session and Dr. Susanne Hardy is on the stand. She is the doctor who treated Diane McIver at Emory on the night of the shooting.
The jury is on lunch break until 1:20 p.m.
Dr. Selin Caglar is asked repeatedly by both defense attorney Don Samuel and prosecuting attorney Clint Rucker whether Tex McIver told her who was holding the gun when it went off. She says does not recall.
The jury laughed as she finally said, “That’s why I don’t understand why I’m here. I don’t know who was holding it.”
Emory emergency doctor Selin Caglar is on the stand. On the night of the shooting, she spoke with Tex McIver to give him an update on his wife’s condition as she was being treated. At the time, her condition had declined so that doctors could no longer find her pulse.
As they spoke, McIver gave Caglar some details of how the shooting happened. “They were going through a rough part of town” when the gun was taken out of the console. When the car hit a bump, “the gun went off accidentally.” She is unable to recall if he told her who was holding the gun.
Emergency room nurse Terri Sullivan clarifies the snippet of conversation she heard from a group of people inside the emergency room that included Tex McIver: “The first words I remember vividly was ‘Tell them,’ then ‘This is what you’re going to tell them.’ It was more like a conversation.”
Asked did she hear anyone respond to that statement, she said she did not. Another nurse who she asked to listen in on their conversation in the hallway was able to hear more, but Sullivan is not testifying to what else she heard.
There is also a question about who called the police that night. Sullivan said it is protocol to notify the police anytime a gunshot wound is treated at the hospital.
The trial is on a break. When we return the jury will pose questions to emergency room nurse Terri Sullivan.
Samuel is focusing his final questions on Tex McIver’s former attorney Stephen Maples who came to the Emory emergency room that night. Sullivan recalls it was Maples who huddled with Tex McIver and Dani Jo Carter and said “This is what you’re going to tell them.” Samuel points out that was before Diane died and that the nurse did not hear enough of the conversation to know what they were talking about. “And who’s the ‘them’ in that sentence? You don’t know,” Samuel said.
Defense attorney Don Samuel is re-reading a transcript from an earlier interview Nurse Sullivan had with the District Attorney’s office in which she referred to Diane McIver’s good friend Dani Jo Carter as “the bimbo” and said “she was dressed extremely provocatively” that night. Another nurse who testified yesterday made reference to Carter’s “western flair” with straw hat and cowboy boots.
Sullivan is now saying she would have characterized things differently if she had known her words were being transcribed at that meeting. She said she offered the information to the DA’s office to ensure no one was getting away with murder. “Please tell me you guys are going to be able to nail him,” she said during the interview with DA’s office.
Nurse Sullivan has stated that there was chatter around the hospital that night that Tex McIver “is going to get off,” because of his status and wealth.
“I thought it was suspicious that a gunshot wound would come to Emory, yes,” Sullivan said. After overhearing a snippet of conversation in the hallway -- “This is what you’re going to tell them” -- she said red flags went up.
Samuel is questioning why a member of the public would be expected to know Emory doesn’t commonly treat trauma like gunshot wounds.
Under cross-examination by defense attorney Don Samuel, Emory emergency room nurse Terri Sullivan is confirming paperwork about Tex McIver’s treatment at Emory following his wife’s death. Reading notes made in the early morning hours of Sept. 26 by a doctor, Samuel points out that Tex McIver’s “admitting diagnosis” is anxiety and depression. He was prescribed four Xanax pills – Xanax is the brand name of a drug used to treat anxiety and panic. The doctor’s evaluation also notes that Tex McIver was “tearful.”
Following his wife’s death at the hospital, Tex McIver became nurse Terri Sullivan’s patient in the emergency room, complaining of anxiety. Sullivan did a medical evaluation of Tex McIver after he complained of anxiety. He said to her that he needed something “to help me cope.” She reported he spoke calmly, was not crying and didn’t seem restless as is commonly seen in patients who are anxious. Asked about his medical history, which she took, neither sleep disorders nor amnesia was mentioned to her. These conditions were mentioned by defense attorneys during their opening statements.
Attorney Clint Rucker with the Fulton County District Attorney’s office is questioning Sullivan on some remarks she overheard the night of the shooting in the hallways around the emergency room. She saw defendant Tex McIver and Diane McIver’s good friend Dani Jo Carter standing with two other men in the hallway talking. One of the unidentified men is writing on a legal pad. She overheard the remark: “This is what you’re going to tell them.” She said “It struck me as odd.”
Rucker has established that Sullivan has difficulty hearing out of one ear.
“I knew that we were very busy and I wasn’t in a position to listen further.” Sullivan testifies she then asked a colleague to listen to the group “to either corroborate what I heard, or to listen further to see if something inappropriate was going on. I had the impression there was a plan being enacted. They were actually kind of huddling like a sports team.”
9: 16 a.m.
Emory Hospital emergency room nurse Terri Sullivan is on the stand. She has worked at Emory since 2006 and said Diane McIver was only the second gunshot wound she had ever seen at the Emory emergency room.
Good Friday morning to everyone. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney is calling the court to order. He plans to go until 5:30p.m. today to make more progress with the long list of witnesses.
Thursday’s testimony ended with detailed testimony from several nurses about Diane McIver’s arrival and treatment at Emory University Hospital’s emergency room on Sept. 25, 2016. Particular attention was given to Tex McIver’s demeanor as she was brought in with one nurse saying he appeared “emotionless.”
A look at the key players in the Tex McIver murder saga Here is a rundown of attorneys and others who figure in the case.
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