Tax experts said the Atlanta attorney owed about $5,000.

Deep dive into McIver’s finances reveals major debt, few solutions

On Sept. 25, 2016, Claud “Tex” McIver was deep in debt, forced into a more limited role at work and about to turn 74 years old.

As state witness Dean Driskell — an accountant and a Georgia State University finance professor — put it, Tex was cash-poor and experiencing “financial stress.” And there didn’t seem to be any viable remedies.

Witness Dean Driskell testifies on Day 12 of the Tex McIver murder trial at the Fulton County Courthouse on Wednesday, March 28, 2018. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

McIver acknowledged as much in an email exchange with his wife, Diane, in July 2016, three months before that September night when he shot her in the back — accidentally, he says.

“I am seriously trying to reduce my monthly expenses,” he wrote. “Debt is my biggest obstacle right now. Plan on hitting the Lotto sometime this week.”

Diane McIver responded with signature tartness, referencing the caretaker at the couple’s Putnam County ranch.

“Make sure you read Javier’s job description,” she said. “That is your next life chapter. Save your moola. You will be standing there in the door with your hand out when I get home every Friday.”

“Back to gigoloing,” Tex McIver shot back.

For a second day, prosecutors delved deeply into the defendant’s bleak financial portfolio in an attempt to bolster what they say motivated McIver to kill his wife.

The defense maintains that Diane McIver was worth more to her husband alive than dead, depending on how the numbers are crunched.

There’s no debating that McIver needed cash, and lots of it.

Fulton County Superior Court Chief Judge Robert McBurney talks to the attorneys at the beginning of Day 12 of the Tex McIver murder trial at the Fulton County Courthouse on Wednesday, March 28, 2018. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

McIver’s income had “significantly deteriorated” from 2013 to September 2016, Driskell said. That was when McIver lost his post as an equity partner at the Fisher Phillips law firm. But even though his salary had plummeted by “more than half” during that period, he kept spending. Much of it went to the ranch, where the monthly upkeep was $20,000 to $25,000. As a result, there were frequent bank account overdrafts, Driskell testified.

“There was more money going out than he had coming in,” Driskell said. From 2013 through September 2016, McIver was more than $245,000 in the red and was filling the gap with his wife’s money.

Meanwhile, he was paying her tens of thousands of dollars a year to stay current on a $350,000 interest-only loan she had made to him.


» RELATED: Testimony shows Tex McIver preoccupied with money following wife’s death

» MORE: Prosecutors focus on McIver motive


While there was no hiding his financial situation from Diane, McIver portrayed a much rosier picture in a pair of television interviews recorded last April.

In the first clip, McIver claimed to be worth “two and a half times more” than his wife’s estate. According to Driskell, the opposite was true.

Tex McIver was worth about $1.7 million on the day of his wife’s death, the accounting professor said. He inherited an estimated $4 million from Diane.

“She was very successful in her own right, but I was more,” McIver said in an excerpt from the second interview played for jurors.

Tex McIver listens to the testimony of Dean Driskell on Day 12 of his murder trial at the Fulton County Courthouse on Wednesday, March 28, 2018. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

In that same interview, McIver said, “Guns are not my thing.” That was heard in the courtroom right after prosecutors showed jurors the 44 guns collected from McIver after his arrest.

It was another example of McIver’s sometimes complicated relationship with the truth and an effective coda for the trial’s 12th day.

Tex McIver’s guns are loaded onto a table on Day 12 of his murder trial at Fulton County Superior Court on Wednesday, March 28, 2018. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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