After initially blaming Black Lives Matter in the death of his wife, Atlanta lawyer Claud “Tex” McIver surrendered at a Fulton County jail Thursday, Dec. 22, in connection with his wife’s fatal shooting.
McIver, who is charged with felony involuntary manslaughter and misdemeanor reckless conduct in the Sept. 25 death of his wife, Diane McIver, faces up to 10 years in prison on the felony charge, while the misdemeanor is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or a $1000 fine.
Steve Maples, Claud McIver’s attorney, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Thursday that his client is “very, very embarrassed and very, very humiliated” by the charges against him. “Tex said this was the second-worst day of his life,” Maples said.
McIver, 74, originally told the AJC that he shot and killed his 63-year-old business executive wife accidentally after the couple became frightened when their chauffeured SUV was surrounded by pedestrians. Family friend and spokesperson Bill Crane told the newspaper on Oct. 6 that Claud McIver, who was seated in the back seat behind his wife, who was in the passenger seat, retrieved the couple’s handgun from the center console after reflecting on the “unrest” surrounding the peaceful Black Lives Matter protest a day earlier. As the couple drove along, Crane said they hit a bump in the road that caused the gun to fire into the back of the passenger seat.
“I absolutely did not,” McIver said when asked if he had purposely shot his wife. “She was my life partner. My life as I know is ruined because of this accident.”
However, Maples immediately refuted parts of Crane’s account, saying BLM was not an issue and that the gun went off after his sleeping client was suddenly awakened. Diane McIver’s friend Dani Jo Carter, who was driving the couple that fateful night, later said that the vehicle was not in motion when the weapon was discharged.
Diane McIver died during surgery the following day.
“He’s very depressed about it,” Spike McIver said of his brother. “He keeps getting hit over and over from one direction and another. He’s upset that this is occurring on Christmas week. They could’ve waited, but they work in strange ways.”
This is not Claud McIver’s first brush with the law. In 1990, teens accused the attorney of firing shots in and around their car. He faced three counts of aggravated assault and other smaller charges before the parties agreed to settle privately.