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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