April 21, 2017, Atlanta, Georgia - Tex McIver listens during the hearing to revoke his bond conditions. Authorities conducting a search found a gun stored in a drawer full of socks at his home. One of the conditions of McIver’s bond was that he was not to have any guns. (HENRY TAYLOR / HENRY.TAYLOR@AJC.COM)
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

5 things to know about the Tex McIver murder indictment

A grand jury has handed down an indictment of Claud “Tex” McIver charging him with murder. McIver shot and killed his wife, Atlanta businesswoman Diane McIver, in September as they rode in their SUV near Piedmont Park. He has maintained the shooting was an accident. 

TIMELINE: Key events in the Tex McIver saga

Here is what we learned from the seven-count indictment:

1. Prosecutors believe Tex McIver meant to kill his wife. Police in December charged McIver with involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct, suggesting they either believed McIver’s claim that he didn’t intend to pull the trigger or, at the very least, could not prove otherwise. A Fulton County grand jury handed down an indictment that included the charge of malice murder. Criminal intent is a key element of malice murder. Prosecutors had been seeking the couple’s financial documents but it’s unknown what evidence they have uncovered to show intent.

2. Tex McIver is accused of urging a key witness to lie and to stop cooperating with police. Among the charges included in the indictment are three counts of influencing witnesses. Two of those charges involve Dani Jo Carter, a friend of Diane McIver’s who was driving the couple the night of the shooting. Tex McIver told Carter to say she wasn’t present when he shot his wife, the indictment alleges. Tex McIver also left a voicemail with Carter’s husband, Thomas, in which he said Dan Jo should cease communicating with law enforcement because her statements could land him in jail, the indictment says. It goes on to say that McIver then told Thomas Carter to discard that voicemail.

3. A family spokesman was encouraged to change his story, prosecutors allege. Tex McIver allegedly asked Bill Crane, acting as a family spokesman in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, to retract a statement made to the media on McIver’s behalf. While the indictment does not say what statement McIver asked him to retract, Crane told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in September that Tex McIver’s gun went off after they hit a bump. He also said the couple pulled out their .38-caliber revolver after becoming worried about unrest surrounding possible Black Lives Matter protests in the area near where they had pulled off the interstate. McIver’s attorney would later step away from the claim there was a bump in the road and that the couple was worried about Black Lives Matter.

Crane told the AJC this week he declined to revise his statement to the press.

4. The indictment was handed down on the same day Tex McIver’s bond was revoked. The indictment is dated  April 26, which means that Fulton County prosecutors were making their case to a grand jury on the same day they were also seeking to have McIver’s bond revoked on separate charges. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney sent McIver to jail that same day after finding that a Glock pistol found in McIver’s Buckhead condo violated his bond.

“Mr. McIver and firearms don't mix well anymore,” McBurney said.

5. The grand jury issued a “no bond” warrant for McIver’s Arrest. But given that he was already in Fulton County jail, that may not mean much. McIver will be assigned to a Fulton County Superior Court judge within the next several days and be arraigned on the new charges soon afterward. 

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