Jury selection begins next week in the murder trial of Georgia attorney Tex McIver. How will his defense protect their client against the claim he intentionally killed wife Diane McIver? They gave a preview of that on Friday. Attorneys Don Samuel, Amanda Clark Palmer, and Bruce Harvey joined Law&Crime for an interview. They said the death was an accident, and strongly rejected the state’s claim that McIver shot his wife on purpose. The couple loved one another, and there was no motive for murder, they claimed.
On Sept. 25, 2016, the day of the shooting, the McIvers were riding through a rough part of Atlanta. According to the attorneys, McIver became afraid because it was an area with a high-crime rate, and homeless people. He asked for a gun, and both women in the front seat agreed to hand over the weapon. He fell asleep with the gun in his lap. It fired by accident, his attorneys claim. McIver later said that he had concerns about driving through a Black Lives Matter protest, but according to Samuel, this wasn’t a “racial” issue, and his client had simply been trying to explain the reason for pulling out the firearm.
Samuel explained the gun went off because it had a “relatively hair-trigger.” The firearm was on McIver’s lap, not upright, and was fired at the bottom of Diane McIver’s car seat, he said.
“All of the forensic evidence points to this being an accident,” he said.
The defense also dismissed the claim that McIver killed his wife for money. In fact, as Palmer explained, and couple’s finances “were not in dire straits,” and besides that, McIver stood little to gain. Diane McIver’s will split her assets between several beneficiaries, not just her husband.
The attorney also dismissed the state’s claim the defendant hid a second will.
“There is no second will,” Samuel said, adding that there is no lawyer who saw or drafted this hypothetical document.
Samuel also lashed at the prosecution’s claim that McIver choose to go to Emory Healthcare instead of Grady Health in order to make sure Diane McIver died.
“For your viewers, Emory Hospital is considered one of the finest hospitals in the country,” he said. “It is rated as the third finest medical facility in the country. That’s the hospital he drove to–got there in seven minutes. And now the prosecution’s saying, ‘You shouldn’t have gone to Emory. You should’ve gone to Grady Hospital, which has a better trauma center.’ And the theory is that he intentionally went to a hospital that was less qualified to treat a traumatic injury in order to ensure that she died. It is a preposterous argument that the prosecution is making.”
[Screengrab of Samuel and Palmer via Law&Crime Network]