Diane McIver died two years ago today, shot in the back by her husband in what he argued unsuccessfully was a freak accident as they traversed unfamiliar streets in downtown Atlanta.
“I didn’t ever hear you say you were sorry for what you did,” Judge Robert McBurney said at the May sentencing. “To me that speaks volumes.”
The bizarre and tragic case involving the wealthy, politically prominent couple captured widespread attention. The shooting was unusual enough, but what followed was nothing short of a spectacle. Within months of Diane’s death, Tex organized a huge auction of many of her clothing, including furs, hats designer shoes and handbags. The event was billed as a “Fashionista’s dream closet.”
Today’s anniversary is being marked in far more somber tones. Folks driving up and down the Connector in downtown Atlanta may have noticed Diane’s image on the giant Corey tower (see it below).
She was a politically connected professional known for her no-nonsense approach to business as well as her big-hearted generosity with friends. She also had sophisticated taste in clothing, art, jewelry, silver, crystal and home furnishings, as the bidding public learned earlier this year when the McIver ranch and all its contents were auctioned off.
The sale and auction were conducted in concert with legal representatives for Tex McIver, who was assigned to the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison near Jackson before being transferred to Long State Prison in Ludiwici, and Diane’s estate. The court will direct the proceeds.
The 85-acre property in Eatonton went for $1 million. The new owner is a Stone Mountain man who plans to make it a vacation home.
At his sentencing, Tex McIver offered a rambling statement that mentioned his Australian pen pal (and her horse), his penchant for Chick-fil-A and how he felt that he and his late wife communicated telepathically.
Several of Diane’s friends spoke at the sentencing, including Dani Jo Carter, who was driving the night of the shooting and testified that Tex had tried to get her to lie for him afterward.
“It didn’t work,” she said. Carter said there are times when she picks up the phone to call her friend, but then realizes she’s no longer there. “I miss her terribly.”
U.S. Enterprises owner and founder Billy Corey said that Diane, as the company’s president, spurred its success. He called her firm’s “matriarch and leader.”
“Diane’s death was not an accident,” Corey said at the sentencing. “Rest in peace, Diane.”
On the second anniversary of Diane’s death, the Corey tower at the downtown Connector was lit up with an image of Diane and a message of tribute.
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