Could Tex McIver be released from custody?

Bond hearing this morning following overturned murder conviction

Former Atlanta lawyer Claud “Tex” McIver is hoping to be released from jail following the Georgia Supreme Court’s decision to overturn his murder conviction in his wife’s shooting death. The 79-year-old, who’s been in custody since his 2018 conviction, has a bond hearing scheduled for 10 a.m.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will be in the courtroom.

The state Supreme Court in June overturned McIver’s murder conviction earlier this year on grounds jurors should have been allowed to consider convicting the former attorney of a lesser manslaughter charge in the 2016 shooting of his wife Diane, 64.

ExploreTex McIver murder conviction overturned

At his trial, McIver was also convicted of influencing a witness and sentenced to five years in prison for that offense. He completed that sentence last month and has since been in jail hoping to get bond.

In a court filing, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office said it plans to retry McIver. In July, Fulton prosecutors asked Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who oversaw the case, to set a trial date within 180 days. The office said it will retry McIver on three charges: felony murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

ExploreFulton DA announces intention to retry McIver for murder

The fatal shooting occurred Sept. 25, 2016, near Piedmont Park as the couple returned to Atlanta from their Putnam County ranch. After they entered the city, McIver asked for his .38-caliber revolver from the center console because he thought they had driven upon a Black Lives Matter protest, according to testimony.

McIver, with the gun in a plastic bag on his lap, was sitting in the back seat behind his wife. Her best friend, Dani Jo Carter, was driving the Ford Expedition.

After they stopped at a traffic light on Piedmont Avenue, McIver, who had fallen asleep, fired a shot through the front seat into his wife’s back. McIver directed Carter to take his wife to Emory University Hospital, where she died during surgery.

Tex and Diane McIver were seen as a well-to-do power couple. He was a labor lawyer with deep ties to the state Republican Party. She was an executive at U.S. Enterprises and worked for years for influential businessman Billy Corey.

McIver insisted his wife’s shooting was a tragic accident. But during the hotly contested trial, Fulton prosecutors convinced jurors that McIver was guilty of murder and argued he had a financial motivation to do it.

At his trial, the jury heard from 78 witnesses in testimony that spanned six weeks. The seven women and five men deliberated roughly 29 hours over five days before reaching a decision. The jury convicted McIver of felony murder, but acquitted him of malice murder, which would have meant the killing was intentional.

The prominent Atlanta attorney was also found guilty of four lesser charges, including aggravated assault, possession of firearm and and witness influencing.

In his opinion overturning the conviction, Chief Justice Michael Boggs wrote there was “thin” evidence of financial motive. “Indeed,” he wrote, “the state’s evidence of intent was weak, as no witness testified to any disagreement or quarrel between McIver and Diane, and many witnesses testified that they were very much in love.”

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