Tex McIver guilty on four counts; sentencing date set
FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - Tex McIver has been found guilty of felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and influencing witnesses.
McIver will be sentenced on May 23. The conviction of felony murder carries a mandatory life sentence, but it will be up to the judge to determine if he will have the possibility of parole.
Earlier, the jury was deadlocked on multiple charges in the trial of Tex McIver, a prominent Atlanta attorney accused of murdering his wife, but the judge ordered them back to deliberations.
On Monday, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney read a note from the jury stating they don't see a path to overcome their differences on several counts.
McIver admits to fatally shooting his wife, Diane, in 2016, but maintains it was an accident. Prosecutors think McIver had a motive and killed his wife for her money.
Monday morning marked the fifth day of deliberations. The day began with the jury asking several questions about the charges, including a clarification on the definition of "misleading conduct."
Last week, the jury told the judge they were making progress but appeared to be deadlocked by early Monday afternoon.
The judge said he wants the jury to continue deliberations and consider lesser included offenses after lunch. The defense objected, staying they don't want the judge to mention lesser included charges.
On Thursday, day three of deliberations, the jury went back inside the SUV that the McIvers were riding in when the shooting happened. The jurors were also able to get a closer look at the gun and they re-watched McIver's interview with Atlanta Police, which happened three days after the shooting.
On Friday, the jurors asked if they could continue past the 4 p.m. cutoff previously set. About 15 minutes later, at 4:05 the jury told the judge they were ready to go home after all. It was a roller coaster end to a dramatic week.
Deliberations began on Tuesday after the defense and prosecution wrapped up their closing arguments. The first full day of deliberations was on Wednesday.
"We are asking you to use your common sense when deciding this case," prosecutor Cara Convery told jurors Tuesday morning. "What we have in this case is no accident. Guns just don't go off."
The state went on to urge the jury to find McIver guilty on every count, including murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during a felony, and influencing a witness, Dani Jo Carter, who was inside the car when the shooting took place.
Defense attorney Don Samuel said there are many reasonable doubts in this case and many hurdles to get over.
"An unintentional discharge is an accident," he said.
"We do not convict people on the cloud and fog of speculation, but the bedrock of facts," Defense Attorney Bruce Harvey remarked during closing arguments.