Jurors in the Claud “Tex” McIver murder trial held his gun on Thursday in an attempt to replay the scene of the alleged crime.
Even though jury deliberations started on Tuesday, jurors asked to revisit the SUV where the deadly shooting took place. And they brought McIver’s gun, the one used to shoot his wife, with them, according to WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia.
The jurors are trying to decide, after a lengthy, four-week trial which featured nearly 80 witnesses and captivated the Atlanta community, the fate of McIver. They must decide if the widow is a murderer or if he had an accident.
There is no debate over who killed his wealthy, business-oriented wife Diane. The Georgia lawyer has already admitted to shooting her but claimed that it was an accident. The shooting happened while the couple was in the backseat of their own Ford Explorer, being driven home by friend Dani Jo Carter after dinner in 2016, according to WGCL-TV Atlanta.
On Thursday, the jurors filed into the SUV, split up in pairs. One would sit where Tex sat, the other sat in the driver’s seat. They replayed the scene of the shooting, according to WSB-TV.
Earlier in the week, before the jury went to deliberate, Fulton County Chief Assistant District Attorney Clint Rucker was mopping the sweat from his brow as he pleaded with the jury to find McIver culpable for the murder of his wife during his closing arguments. He pointed out the numerous contradictions in McIver’s story as well as the charge of witness tampering against him.
After the shooting, police had grown suspicious of McIver when they learned he had asked his wife’s best friend, who was driving the car during the incident, to lie and say she wasn’t there. He alleged that the death of his wife also would have solved McIver's numerous financial problems. “He is much better off with her dead than alive,” the prosecutor bluntly claimed, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
During the rebuttal, one of McIver’s attorneys Don Samuel dismissed the state’s claims as a “distraction” and targeted the alleged motive presented by prosecutors, that McIver killed his wife for money. "What you need is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. I am going to talk to you about doubts,” he told the jury. "I will give you 16 doubts to disprove the state's theory and you only need one doubt to find a verdict of not guilty.”
McIver, now 75, claimed he 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 pulled its trigger while taking a nap in the backseat. At the time of 64-year-old Diane’s death, McIver reportedly owed her $350,000, WGCL-TV Atlanta reported.
[Photo: Fulton County Sheriff's Office]