ATLANTA — Jurors returned to the Fulton County Courthouse Wednesday for a second day of deliberations in the murder trial of Claud “Tex” McIver.
The 12-person panel is reviewing 20 days of testimony from roughly 80 witnesses. McIver, 75, is charged with malice murder but jurors will have the opportunity to convict him on a lesser-included charge of felony involuntary manslaughter, which carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
Visit our Tex McIver murder trial special section for a look back at the case, including a live blog from the courtroom, daily video recaps, an interactive timeline and much more.
McIver is accused of fatally shooting his wife, Diane, on Sept. 25, 2016. The couple was coming home from a weekend at their ranch in Putnam County; Diane McIver's best friend, Dani Jo Carter, was driving their Ford Expedition near Piedmont Park when Tex fired a bullet into his wife's back. McIver said he was asleep in the back seat and shot the gun inadvertently.
After seven hours of deliberations Wednesday jurors came forward with three questions, the first of which could be viewed as promising news for the defendant.
1.) If not guilty on counts 1-4, can McIver be found guilty of Count 5? The fifth count involves influencing a witness, Carter. The first four counts are the most serious, ranging from murder to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Answer: Yes. The defendant can be found guilty of all, some or none, said Judge Robert McBurney.
2.) May we get back into the Ford Expedition with the gun that killed Diane McIver?
Answer: Perhaps. McBurney said he’ll have a more definitive answer in the morning after determining whether it’s possible and, if so, whether it should be allowed. The defense indicated it would be opposed.
3.) The third question involves a binder of emails extracted from Diane McIver’s computer. The attorneys are currently sorting that out with the judge.
Jurors deliberated until 5 p.m. before leaving for the day. They will return Thursday at 9 a.m. and will begin the day by rewatching Tex McIver's APD interview.
Here's a list of the charges McIver is facing and the sentences associated with them:
1. MALICE MURDER (Mandatory Life sentence) (With or Without parole is at judge's discretion)
1A. INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER (1-10 years in prison)
2. FELONY MURDER (Mandatory Life Sentence) (With or Without parole is at judge's discretion)
2A. INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER (1-10 years in prison)
3. AGGRAVATED ASSAULT (1-20 years in prison)
4. POSSESSION OF A FIREARM DURING COMMISSION OF A FELONY (5 years tacked onto other sentence)
5. INFLUENCING A WITNESS (1-5 years in prison)
On any charge, but murder, the judge could also give McIver probation.
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