December 2, 2016 Atlanta - Christy Ogletree Ahlers, owner of Peachtree Battle Estate Sales and Liquidations, prepares for the estate sale of Diane McIver’s wardrobe next week as she is surrounded by more than 2,000 of Diane McIver’s clothing and jewelry items in a warehouse showroom at Peachtree Battle Estate Sales and Liquidations on Friday, December 2, 2016. More than 2000 of her articles of clothing, jewelry, hats and shoes are on display in his warehouse showroom. Tex McIver has enlisted an estate liquidation company to sell more than 2,000 of his deceased wife’s clothing and jewelry items. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Tex McIver sells late wife’s clothes, jewels as police probe shooting

With a criminal investigation still ongoing into his wife’s death, Tex McIver is selling off her large wardrobe of clothing and jewelry in an estate sale next week expected to bring in thousands of dollars.

The sale of more than 2,000 items from Diane McIver’s wardrobe - including designer dresses, her large hat collection, scores of shoes and more than 100 fur coats - is being marketed as a “Fashionista’s DREAM Closet” by the Buckhead estate sales company handling the five-day event. McIver, 64, a prominent businesswoman in Atlanta, was shot and killed by her husband a little more than two months ago as the couple rode back to their Buckhead condo after a weekend at their horse ranch in Putnam County. He has said it was an accident.

The peculiar case, involving an Atlanta power couple, has drawn widespread attention with its mix of wealth and class.

“The whole situation is unique,” said Robert Ahlers, owner of Peachtree Battle Estate Sales & Liquidations, which is handling the sale that begins Wednesday.

McIver’s attorney, Stephen Maples, said Friday that McIver is executor of his wife’s estate and the wardrobe sale next week is simply part of the process to settle her affairs. That includes making good on her will which left $350,000 to various friends and employees, such as her longtime housekeeper. Proceeds from the wardrobe will help cover some of those bequeathments, he said.

Diane McIver’s wardrobe is stocked with pricey, well-known designers like Jimmy Choo and Sergio Rossi, but also some more obscure designers, Ahlers said. One Thierry Mugler coat still had a $6,800 price tag on it.

“It’s quite extraordinary,” said Ahlers. “She obviously really liked clothes.”

“The family has given us permission to use her name,:he said. “We’ve been publicizing her name, but not the details of the history of what happened.”

Tex McIver, a high-powered corporate attorney, has maintained he didn’t mean to pull the trigger of his .38 handgun after being jolted awake in the backseat of their SUV on Sept. 25. But he is facing an ongoing investigation by Atlanta police and rampant speculation on social media about his shifting story. In an interview with the AJC last month, McIver, 73, denounced speculation that he intentionally killed his wife, either for money or an affair, both rumors that he said were untrue.

Maples said his client isn’t broke and doesn’t need the money from the wardrobe sale, but he also didn’t want it to sit around for years collecting dust. Maples said Tex McIver allowed close friends of his deceased wife to privately pick out items that had sentimental value before turning the items over to the estate sales company.

“He’s the executor of the estate,” Maples said. “The law requires him to settle her estate in a prompt and efficient manner.”

The sale is being held at the Buckhead company’s warehouse Wednesday through Sunday. The wardrobe and other personal items take up some 1,200 square feet of space in the company’s warehouse.

The estate sale company has been in a bit of a rush since getting the call a few weeks ago. With a collection this large, they would typically take more time to price and prepare it for sale, Ahlers said, but they didn’t want to miss the holiday shopping season.

Also, because McIver had so many winter clothes in her collection — including 121 fur coats — they thought the items would have more appeal on the front end of the winter season and recommended the December sale dates, he said. Ahlers wouldn’t get into details of his meeting with McIver, but said he has been receiving help from his family, including his sister.

“The vibe that I got from the family is that it was a tragic accident and they are just going through it,” he said.

He said the company hasn’t had a lot of time to market the sale, but decided to include Diane McIver’s name in the publicity materials to attract friends who knew her. The company expects hundreds of people each day to attend the sale.

“Our sales are popular,” Ahlers said. “This type of thing brings them out of the woodworks. We are definitely expecting a strong turnout.”

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