ATLANTA - Testimony continued Tuesday with the only witness in the murder trial of prominent Atlanta attorney Tex McIver, whose accused of killing his wife, Diane.
Dani Jo Carter took the stand again Tuesday morning after revealing Monday that McIver urged her to lie to police about being in the SUV when the shooting happened.
In a blow to the prosecution, Mrs. Carter admitted under cross-examination that she told Atlanta Police she thought the deadly shooting was a horrible accident.
The only witness to the shooting told the jury Tex McIver was calm but tried to help his wife, Diane, after he shot her in the family SUV back in 2016.
Prosecutors said Tex was stressed about money and killed his wife for financial gain, but defense attorneys painted another picture of Tex as an attentive husband.
"Tex was the kind of man and husband who would get up early, cook breakfast and bring breakfast and coffee to Diane," said Defense Attorney Bruce Harvey.
Carter was a 40-year friend of Diane McIver. She spent many weekends with the McIver couple at their Putnam County ranch and was driving them back to their Buckhead condo in September of 2016 when the shooting happened. Mrs. Carter said Tex asked Diane to pass him his gun that was in a glove compartment of their SUV because they were in a rough area. She showed jurors the route down Piedmont Ave they took as they were heading home. She said they were stopped at a light when she heard a loud bang.
"I heard a big boom and thought there was an explosion somewhere," Mrs. Carter said.
She said she saw a big puff of smoke and Tex's hands on the gun. Then Dani Jo said Diane immediately addressed her husband.
"She turned around and said ‘Tex, what did you do?’" Mrs. Carter remarked.
McIver quickly said the gun discharged.
Carter said Tex told her to go to Emory University Hospital and gave her directions. Neither of them called 911. Then she said Tex told her to watch out there may be people with baby carriages. Diane was unconscious by this time as emergency personnel whisked her into the ER.
Carter said Tex called his attorney Steve Maples about 10 to 15 minutes after they arrived at the hospital because he knew how these things go. She also said Tex told her he hated for her to get wrapped up in this incident and encouraged Dani Jo to lie to police about her presence.
"You just need to say you came down here as a friend of the family," Mrs. Carter told jurors.
The close family friend responded, "But I can't lie."
Tuesday morning, Carter said she didn't tell police that McIver told her to lie because she knew it would look bad for him, saying she felt bad for him. Carter, who said she's been to the McIvers ranch hundreds of times, always thought Mr. McIver was very "safety conscious" when it came to handling guns.
Carter went on to say Mrs. McIver loaned her money more than 12 times.
"We signed documents just like you were at the bank, with collateral and interest," she told jurors. "That is just how we did it."
Jurors were then showed a note Carter said McIver wrote her regarding a car note loan she owed after his wife's death.
"Terry needs check for $272.48," it read.