Former Atlanta attorney Claude “Tex” McIver will get a new trial in the murder of his wife after the Georgia Supreme Court overturned his conviction.
McIver, 79, was found guilty of murder after shooting his wife, Diane, in the back while they were passengers in an SUV driven by the couple’s friend.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the court said in a unanimous ruling that jurors should have been allowed to consider a misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter charge. This would have let jurors decide whether McIver was criminally negligent when he fired the fatal shot, not that he intentionally killed his wife.
The notorious 2016 case sparked both Internet outrage and curiosity after McIver claimed he was holding the gun to defend the SUV occupants from a Black Lives Matter protest.
McIver claimed he fell asleep and accidentally discharged the gun, which passed through the passenger seat into his wife’s back.
Rather than calling 911 for help, McIver instructed the friend driving the SUV, Dani Jo Carter, to drive to the Emory University Hospital campus in DeKalb County instead of several nearby Midtown or Downtown hospitals. Diane McIver later died of her injuries while in surgery.
Prosecutors said McIver had a financial interest in killing his wife and then covering it up. McIver was sentenced to life in prison.