ATLANTA - The Atlanta attorney serving life in prison for killing his wife is trying to fight a lawsuit from her estate.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne was the only reporter in the courtroom Thursday as Tex McIver’s attorneys fought his latest legal challenge.
Despite the arguments over the lawsuit, there was one thing they did agree on – the shooting of Diane McIver was an accident.
“Tex has taken responsibility for causing her death. He admits that it is an accident, that he was responsible for the bullet he shot,” said Keith Romich, McIver’s attorney.
A lawyer for the administrator of Diane McIver’s estate, Robin Frazer Clark, argued Thursday that while Tex McIver has been locked up for the felony murder of his wife, a wrongful death suit against Tex is locked up for the time being by an effort to get the Georgia Court of appeals to toss out the suit.
“I think the issue is whether or not (Tex) McIver has any say so in the handling of his deceased wife’s estate,” legal expert Judge Gail Tusan told Winne.
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Tusan told Winne that Tex McIver's side basically says when there is a surviving spouse only that person can bring a wrongful death lawsuit and that Tex's side maintains a lower court judge made a mistake when he didn't throw out a wrongful death suit against Tex McIver for shooting Diane.
But the estate of Diane McIver argued Thursday that Tex cannot sue because of what's called the slayer statute.
“We don’t want you to profit from the death of the person you’ve caused to die,” Tusan said.
Clark said her theory of the case is that Tex shot Diane accidentally based in large part on Tex's own statements.
“It’s consistent with everything he said,” Clark said.
The Fulton County DA’s office said when a jury found Tex McIver guilty, the verdict meant Tex shooting Diane was no accident
“I talked to him. Also went down to visit,” Romich said.
Romich said Tex would like to see the wrongful death suit resolved without making Diane’s friends go through another trial.
He said the appeal was handled by Jimmy Scarbrough, a top-flight lawyer hired to represent Tex by his insurance company, which will have major say in whether the case can be settled.
“I think he’d like to say he is a model prisoner,” Romich said
The presiding judge asked a lot of questions, particularly of the McIver side, Winne said.
There was also a co-defendant named in the suit. Neither she nor Tex McIver were at Thursday’s hearing. It’s unclear when the judge will make a ruling.
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