A look back at Week 2 of the Tex McIver murder trial

The trial so far: Nine days of testimony in the Claud "Tex" McIver murder trial have been completed but the state's case is far from over. Week Two was dominated by Dani Jo Carter, Diane McIver's best friend and the lone witness to the shooting that claimed the 64-year-old businesswoman's life. The week concluded with testimony from a friend and colleague of Diane McIver, perhaps the prosecution's most effective witness yet, who described the defendant's unusual behavior in the week after his wife's death.

'Dani is going to send me to prison': That's what Tex McIver said in a voicemail to Dani Jo Carter's husband, Tom Carter. He was worried that she had hired her own attorney, said the defense. On Monday, Dani Jo Carter testified that the defendant had asked her, within hours of the shooting, to tell police she wasn't in the car when the shooting occurred. She told the same thing to a co-worker of Diane's within a few weeks of the shooting. But she didn't tell police.

Noted and quoted: "Wasn't this the dumbest thing you've ever heard?" defense co-counsel Bruce Harvey said, questioning Dani Carter about Tex's alleged plan to tell police she wasn't in the car when he shot his wife. "It didn't make sense to me," Carter replied. "Of course it didn't make sense," said Harvey. "There's no question that Tex McIver was the person who shot his wife, right? … It was just stupid, wasn't it?" Carter concurred.

Money matters: The defendant's character took a beating this week from his wife's business associates and friends (many of whom were once his friends too). Tex McIver was preoccupied with money in the days after her death, testified Jay Grover, Diane's colleague at U.S. Enterprises. Two days after the shooting, McIver, according to Grover, asked if he could collect Diane's Social Security checks. Later that night, he told Grover how he was hoping to get a seat on the board at a tobacco company that would pay him six figures.

Inconsistent accounts: Two business associates testified that, on the morning after the shooting, McIver called to tell them Diane had been involved in a car accident and passed away. Grover testified that, one week after the shooting, McIver confided that his attorneys were upset because of an article that appeared in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In it, McIver's then-spokesman, Bill Crane, said Tex retrieved his gun because he was "alarmed about recent unrest surrounding several Black Lives Matter protests in the area and (feared) a carjacking." The gun went off after the SUV, driven by Carter, "hit a bump," Crane told the AJC. A few days later, Tex's former attorney, Steve Maples, downplayed Crane's account, saying that while some individuals were in the street, there was no immediate threat and the gun was taken out as a precaution. But in his call to Grover, McIver said he had vetted the article with Crane.

Courtroom friction: It has been a long trial, and on Thursday tensions flared on multiple fronts. Several jurors asked Judge Robert McBurney to replace Juror 61, who has often shown up late and, according to the other jurors, has become a polarizing figure in the jury room. But neither side wanted her removed, and the judge agreed. Meanwhile, defense co-counsel Bruce Harvey, who had been exchanging verbal taunts with McBurney throughout the trial, finally snapped when the judge dismissed his suggestion that they break for lunch before cross-examining a witness. (The judge reminded Harvey that it wasn't counsel's decision to make.) "I don't need that," Harvey said. "We got one six-minute break in the morning. We get 45 minutes at lunch. We get six minutes in the afternoon. I don't think that's a fair comment." They eventually broke for lunch, after Harvey completed his cross.

What's next: The state hopes to rest its case by the end of the week. Fulton County and many other school districts will be off the following week for spring break — a major scheduling conflict for some jurors and witnesses. So, after consultation with the attorneys and jurors, McBurney decided that the trial will go on hiatus during the first week of April, resuming April 9.


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