Tex McIver sentenced to life in prison

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action news have provided LIVE coverage of the Tex McIver case. For more information on the trial, follow previous coverage of the case on myajc.com and listen to the "Breakdown" podcast.

This is a live recounting of testimony in today’s sentencing hearing before Judge Robert McBurney in Fulton County Superior Court:

2:52 p.m.

Tex McIver has been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Judge McBurney had some strong words for the defendant.

McBurney said McIver had as much time as he wanted on Wednesday to talk about anything he wished. McIver, the judge said, talked about race horses and telepathy.

“I never did hear you say you’re sorry for what you did and, to me, that silence speaks volumes,” McBurney said.

2:48 p.m.

Last, he talked at length about Diane. He said during the trial, “I heard her described in some ways that I simply didn’t know who that person was.”

“We loved each other like small children. We were together so much that we actually had a secret: We would sometimes say, even in unison, ‘Is this truly real?’ If it’s not real, don’t tell me because I don’t want to wake up. We just couldn’t believe that it was that good.”

Tex McIver spoke of communicating “telepathically” with Diane when she was not in his presence. “There just aren’t words to describe the nature of our relationship; the energy we derived from each other.”

He said from time to time his wife became frustrated with him and “delivered corrections” in front of other people “always with love and I always accepted them with love.”

“I have spent 263 nights in a jail cell by myself, but not alone. She has joined me there. It’s a presence that’s hard to describe. … It’s as if she’s on the other side of a curtain or another dimension. I’ve never felt alone.”

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

2:41 p.m.

McIver reserved particular praise for his younger sister, Dixie, who attended court every day.

“She is America’s last living saint,” he said.

He added that Chick-fil-A is among the things he misses the most.

2:34 p.m.

Tex McIver is speaking on his own behalf, his voice steady. Since McIver did not testify, this is the first time trial watchers have heard him speak at length.

“Given these shackles, if you don’t mind I would like to sit,” McIver said at the outset.

He put on glasses and is reading his response to avoid becoming too emotional.

McIver said he has received an outpouring of support in the form of letters from trial watchers around the globe.

He is thanking his family, which he said included more than 20 godchildren.

2:28 p.m.

Dani Jo Carter, Diane McIver’s best friend who was driving the SUV when she was shot, is telling the court about the loss of her friend.

She described Diane McIver as “more like a sister.”

“Tex McIver lied to me and tried to convince me to lie,” Carter said.

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

“This has been one of the saddest and most horrific incidents that has happened my life,” Carter said.

Carter said that being present when her friend died caused “me great distress and horrible trauma in my life.”

Tex McIver seemed oblivious to Carter’s emotional testimony. While Carter choked up and talked about her friend, Tex McIver smiled slightly and spoke quietly with Amanda Clark Palmer, one of his attorneys.

2:17 p.m.

Elaine Williams, a paralegal at Corey Enterprises, is choking up as she addresses the court.

“A hole has been left in my heart and the heart of those who really loved her,” Williams said.

“Because of the way her remains were handled I have no closure,” she added.

2:11 p.m.

Diane McIver’s longtime mentor and boss, Billy Corey, is addressing the court.

“My life and the lives of all these people in this courtroom right here... will never be the same without Diane,” Corey said.

He called Diane McIver “more than just a coworker, more than just a friend.”

She was the “family matriarch and leader of U.S. Enterprises,” he said.

Corey said her death “was not an accident.”

“This brilliant jury gave more than a month of their life for justice in this case,” he said, offering praise for the Fulton County district attorney’s office for vigorously prosecuting the case.

2:06 pm.

Prosecutor Clint Rucker said the state is recommending that court impose a sentence of life with the possibility of parole on the most serious charge of felony murder.

2:03 p.m. 

Judge McBurney has called the court to order and Tex McIver has entered the courtroom. He is sitting at the defense table with a Bible.

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

Credit: Alyssa Pointer

1:44 p.m. 

Court is in recess. Judge Robert McBurney says the McIver proceedings will get underway in about 10 minutes.

The courtroom is packed and several people have lined up to speak, mostly on behalf of Diane McIver. Tex McIver, 75, is facing a mandatory sentence of life in prison. The best case scenario is that the judge grants him the possibility of parole. But the question may be academic. McIver would be over the age of 100 before he’d be eligible to leave prison.

1:30 p.m.

We are awaiting the arrival of Tex McIver, his attorneys and prosecutors.

PREVIOUSLY: Tex McIver said he shot his wife by accident but jurors didn't buy it

RELATED:  Who was Diane McIver?

IN DEPTH:  After Tex McIver’s conviction, what happens to Diane’s money?

BREAKDOWN PODCAST: Did the jury just get it wrong on McIver? Listen to learn more about the twists and turns of the 7-week long trial and hear our analysis of the verdict.