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Claud 'Tex' McIver To Be Retried On Murder Charges In Wife's Death After Conviction Overturned

A motion has been filed to retry Claud 'Tex' McIver for the 2016 shooting death of his wife Diane McIver after a state appeals court overturned his first conviction.

By Gina Tron
Claud "Tex" McIver, left, during closing arguments

Prosecutors in Georgia are aiming to retry their case against former prominent local lawyer Claud “Tex” McIver, who they allege shot his wife to death on purpose.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has submitted a motion to retry McIver for murder in the 2016 shooting death of his wealthy wife Diane McIver, WSB-TV in Atlanta reports.

Tex, 79, was convicted in 2018 of influencing a witness, felony murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony for killing his wife, but acquitted him on a malice murder charge. He was sentenced to life in prison.

The murder-related convictions were overturned in June after the state’s highest court ruled that jurors should have been able to consider the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter at his trial.

But, while the Georgia Supreme Court had overturned his convictions for felony murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, they did uphold his conviction for influencing a witness. That conviction carried a five-year sentence

In a motion filed on Friday, Willis has asked the court to “set the retrial of this case within one hundred eighty (180) days,” according to WSB. The district attorney’s office plans to retry Tex McIver on charges of felony murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, according to 11 Alive. 

The former lawyer has maintained that he only accidentally shot his wife. Both were in the backseat of their own Ford Explorer — being driven home by a friend after a dinner — when the gun went off. He claimed that he'd only had two sips of wine at the dinner, and got out his gun because thought they were driving through an unsafe area. Then, he said, he accidentally pulled the trigger while taking a nap in the backseat and hit his wife.

Diane McIver was rushed to a hospital but died as a result of her wounds.

The state had argued that Tex McIver orchestrated the murder with financial debt as a motive, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. At the time of 64-year-old Diane McIver’s death, Tex reportedly owed her $350,000, CBS46 reported.

Amanda Clark Palmer, one of Tex McIver’s lawyers, stated on Friday that "the Georgia Supreme Court unanimously declared that the evidence against Tex McIver was weak. The Court unanimously held that the prosecution behaved improperly and introduced evidence at the first trial that had no relevance or basis in fact,” 11 Alive reports.

“Now, the prosecution brags that it is only seeking justice," she added. "It is better late than never, but justice would be recognizing that Tex McIver is entirely not guilty."

Palmer and fellow Tex McIver defense lawyer Don Samuel had stated last month that they “look forward to showing the next jury that he is not guilty of murder,” according to 11 Alive.