A jury is set and opening statements are underway in the Tex McIver murder trial.

Tex McIver Murder Trial: 5 Things to Know

Wealthy. Connected. Successful. Tex and Diane McIver seemed to have it all. 

That was until Tex shot Diane in the back as the couple rode in their SUV near Piedmont Park on a September evening in 2016.

The prominent Atlanta attorney says it was a terrible accident; prosecutors call it murder.

Here’s what you need to know as Day 2 of the trial gets underway:

1. A Prosecution Theory on Motive Emerges: It’s all about the money. According to what prosecutors laid out in evidence on Tuesday, Tex McIver was broke and dependent on his wife for cash. He had suffered a pay cut and a demotion at his law firm and was now facing the prospect that his wife might change her will so he inherited less. He might even lose his beloved Putnam County ranch. That’s why he pulled the trigger, the state argued. Expect to hear more Tex McIver’s financial woes on Wednesday. The defense has countered that the couple were still very much in love after 10 years of marriage.

March 13, 2018 Atlanta - Tex McIver (left) reacts as he sits with his defense attorney Bruce Harvey during the first day of trial of Tex McIver before Fulton County Chief Judge Robert McBurney. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

2. Investigator to Testify: First up on the stand today will be Terri Jackson, who had been an investigator with the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. (She now works in DeKalb County). Before court wrapped up Tuesday, Jackson testified that the McIvers’ Buckhead neighbor, Janie Calhoun, was upset that Tex McIver was auctioning off his wife’s clothing and jewelry so soon after her death.

3. Jury Questions: Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney does something that’s almost unheard of in Georgia — he allows jurors to ask questions of witnesses. McBurney continued that practice Tuesday, twice reading questions from jurors to witnesses before they were excused from the stand. The practice could make for some interesting moments as the trial moves forward.

March 13, 2018 Atlanta - Defense attorney Amanda Clark Palmer makes an opening statement to members of the jury during the first day of trial for Tex McIver before Fulton County Chief Judge Robert McBurney on Tuesday, March 13, 2018. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

4. Women Lawyers Take Center Stage: Before the high-profile trial began, there had been much talk about the powerful team of (male) lawyers leading up the prosecution and the defense. But on Tuesday it was women attorneys who nabbed the spotlight. Fulton County Chief Senior Assistant District Attorney Seleta Griffin offered the prosecution’s opening statement and Amanda Clark Palmer did the same for McIver’s defense team. Will they continue to play starring roles as the trial goes on?

Assistant District Attorney Seleta Griffin gives the prosecution's opening statement in the murder trial of Tex McIver on March 13, 2018 in the Fulton County Courthouse. (Channel 2 Action News)
Photo: Channel 2 Action News

5. Follow the Case in Real Time. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has been with this story since the beginning, nabbing the exclusive first interview with Tex McIver and following every twist and dramatic turn of the case since. Now stay with us as we provide gavel-to-gavel coverage and analysis of the trial. The AJC’s live blog of the McIver trial starts today. Channel 2 Action News will be livestreaming the court action.

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