FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - A judge sentenced former attorney Tex McIver on Wednesday afternoon to life in prison with the possibility of parole for killing his wife, Diane McIver.
McIver was found guilty of felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and influencing witnesses in connection with the death of his wife.
Before Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney handed down McIver's sentencing, McIver shared some words about his wife, Daine.
The full transcript of McIver's words is below:
Thank you. In the limited time I have here today, I would like to use notes, if that is possible. I find that without notes I'm more emotional and more broken up. So it might be more cogent for you. I would like to use those, and for really two different purposes.
One is that I received a tremendous amount of mail challenging our system and asking why I am not a champion of some challenge of that system. I would like to very briefly describe, if I'm ever allowed to respond, how I would do so. And then I want to close by thanking those who have been great supporters of mine. And I will do that in the most efficient way.
The outpouring of support has been beyond anything that any of us expected. A month ago this trial occurred, and last week on one given day I received 11 different pieces of mail, and yesterday I received 11 different pieces of mail from three people -- from individuals on three different continents.
One I would like to point out, because it seems to be fairly common, is a lady from Ireland. Her name is Deavier Kenny from Dublin, Ireland. And she says, "Dear Mr. McIver, you do not know me but I watched your trial online and I wanted to write to offer you my support. The injustice done to you is shocking. Your sister gave me your address. Know that a lot of people see through these lies. Thank you".
For some reason, that just seems to be the outpouring that I am finding. And I would like to at least refer to a couple of people who are offshore that have been so faithful in supporting me.
Of course, this lady. Then there is Amaria Schneider that sends me recipes. If she knew anything about the quality of food in jail, she would never do that because it is more punishing than it is helping. But, again, she is very supportive in that respect. Then there is the most unique individual, I think, that I've ever corresponded with. His name is Trent Jones. He is a racehorse jockey in Perth, Australia. And his girlfriend was killed in a very tragic accident. He saw the trial, decided to begin corresponding with me, and has been very helpful as we have jointly through correspondence more.
What is unique about him is that his favorite racehorse Hobart has been retired just this year and that now he and Hobart are free to step into the surf and earth and play as they were unable to do when Hobart was running. He always asked that I pass that along to others as well.
In addition to those that I have never met, I have a list that I won't bore the Court with of about 60 individuals locally that have been very helpful to me in terms of their support. Neighbors bringing me food while I was in house arrest; friends delivering Chick-fil-A, one of my huge, huge favorites and one of the things I miss the most, I guess, about the food in jail. But they have been remarkably kind to me.
Even non-lawyers are offering to write amicus briefs, which I find to be a little bit astounding. And I trust they would be visually influential with you in that respect. But, nonetheless, those people are very, very important to me. And all of that is heartfelt, especially I'm sure a number of those people in the room today.
Also, second to last, would be my family, both blood and extended. Grandchildren who send me drawings with me as the hero in a picture story they have drawn and hoping to see me soon. Some are in California, which is a long way but we don't get together near enough.
Then I am the proud godfather of approximately 23 children, as best I have been able to reconstruct and remember, not the least of whom is Austin, that we have heard something about.
Austin and Diane and I -- and he was a part of -- a permanent part of our relationship. We were there. We held him when he was born. When his mother became ill, we took him and did all the 4:00 feedings and so on and did some very serious bonding with him at the time.
Through some small amount of influence from Diane and myself, he today is still a straight A student. He is an all-star on his basketball and baseball leagues. His first all-star baseball game is on Saturday and he asked if anybody in the office would like to attend, he would be happy to have them come. He is the only left-handed pitcher on the team.
And he is a huge fan of the Golden State Warriors. And he said if anything, I had to say go Warriors before the statement was over with. I'm not sure how I'm going to accommodate missing him as much as I do. He was such an integral part of our relationship.
And then, finally, under family would be Tammy Johnson, who is the lady that's coordinated for us and helped me get through the changes that I'm going to have to make in my life. Extremely valuable person.
Then we have heard about my sister. And to correct Amanda just mildly, I don't think Dixie, my sister, missed a day of trial. She is from Texas. She leads a very active and busy life there. She tore that life apart, came here to assist me in lots of ways. She's been here for the last week helping with some other things involving my estate to the extent that I die in prison, and helps constantly. She's filled with unfettered love, and I would like to proclaim, as I have done many times before, she's American's last living saint. And I would hope that others would appreciate her for that.
Last, I want to thank what I refer to, and many people in this room have heard me refer to, as my Diane. I found it very painful to hear her described in the trial in some ways that I simply didn't know who that person was.
I clearly, as the president of an organization, at the office I'm sure it is necessary, because I was a leader in my firm, that you need to be firm, you need to be difficult sometimes, you need to be hardened. But that wasn't my Diane.
The luckiest day of my life is when Diane chose me. And in doing so, we started a relationship that was -- can only be described as amazing. We loved each other like small children, unabashedly devoted to each other and so on.
What many people could not possibly know -- because it has never been revealed and I am going to give up the secret today -- we felt so strongly about each other and we were together so much that we actually had a secret among us. And that was that we would be different places, we would look at each other and we would say, sometimes even in unison, is this truly real, is this real.
And it was one of those if it is not real, don't pinch me because this is the greatest dream I've ever had and I don't want to wake up. But is this real.
We, for example, would go to the Christmas dinner, the annual Christmas dinner hosted by Kathy and Ken Rickert. We would be in their home. They would retire to the kitchen to prepare the meal and to serve it to us. And we would look at each other and almost repeat in unison: Is this truly real. We just couldn't believe it was that, that good.
And we found that that was the case in so many instances. In fact, it became, if people are able to believe it, telepathic. I could be on the other side of the room at an event or I could be busy in our cow pasture and my conscience would hear these words: Is this truly real. I would spin around, look to where she was, see her gaze, and know that she had telepathically communicated those words to me, is this truly real. And that I found to be so very moving in that respect.
At any rate, I have to tell you I even confounded the preacher that married us. He was a 30-year client and friend. And as he is delivering his words in the marriage, I looked at her and say -- and mumbled: Is this truly real. After the ceremony, he said to me: Were you questioning the authenticity of the ceremony that I was providing? And soon because it was like that.
And she was like a little girl growing up in Alabama with a new pink dress looking to just show it off and please people. That was my Diane. My Diane was very different than those described, and I, of course, will miss her so.
I just -- there just aren't words to describe the nature of our relationship, the energy that we derived from each other, and so on. And on the guidance of counsel, I'll not go further down that road because I don't want to impinge upon their ability to, obviously, have a good exchange in terms of my appeal.
Yes, it is true, and many people, some of whom have spoken, have seen that she delivered to me what she called adjustments. I called them corrections. But from time to time, she would become frustrated with me as I think all women do in their relationships. Why is that?
It is my belief that guys are just generally dumb when it comes to maintaining and nurturing quality relationships. We just genetically don't have a feel for what is the right thing to do for a relationship. And in that respect, those corrections, delivered by her sometimes in front of others, were of the type that they were always delivered with love, they fostered our dream. And for that very reason, I always accepted them with love because they were important to me in that respect.
But in my view -- and I don't have any memory of us ever crossing bad words among us. I would exceed the -- I would receive the corrections and go forward. I don't ever remember a time I was hurt by her in that respect. Just that was the nature of our devotion to each other.
Since this tragedy, I have spent 263 nights in a jail cell by myself but not alone. She has joined me there. It is a presence. It is hard to describe. But she has left her earth suit. And after the three different ceremonies that we had for her -- two in Atlanta for celebration of life and one in Texas for celebration of life -- where we tried to say goodbye to her, she never said goodbye to me and she's been there. It is as if she's on the other side of a curtain or in another dimension.
It really is true that if you are that close to each other -- and this is, obviously, my first experience with it -- that they are there. They are absolutely there. And I have never felt alone in that respect. It has meant so much to me in that way. On this earth, she was my life and made me complete. Certainly not that way now. But if I might just say to her directly -- because I know she's here; I feel her presence as I'm speaking these words -- darling, you have brought me more joy and fulfillment that few men on this earth have ever known. Thank you, and until we are together again, because it is truly real, it is truly real. Thank you."