Tex McIver pleads not guilty in wife’s murder


Prosecutors on Tuesday suggested Claud “Tex” McIver, the prominent Atlanta attorney accused of killing his wife, is trying to influence the murder case against him from behind bars.

Fulton County Assistant District Attorney Clint Rucker said authorities recorded three recent phone calls by McIver from jail. In one, he speaks about providing a car to a potential witness and in another soliciting a favor from a judge.

“He’s a very smart man and he is very well-connected,” Rucker said of the former Republican donor and vice chairman of the state Board of Elections. “He has the financial resources to reach out to people who can have influence over what happens to him.”

Rucker made the accusations during McIver’s arraignment on charges that he murdered his business executive wife. Diane McIver, while they were driving near Piedmont Park last September. McIver pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Much of the hearing focused on whether McIver should be released from jail on bond. McIver has been in jail for 42 days following the discovery of a pistol in a sock drawer of his Buckhead condo, a violation of his prior bond release.

MORE: Five things to know about the Tex McIver murder indictment

RELATED: Tex McIver says shooting his wife was an accident

The formerly sharp-dressed attorney appeared disheveled as he walked into the courtroom in a blue jail uniform, his hands cuffed in front of him. His gray hair looked unkempt and he had a short, stubby beard.

Rucker argued that McIver’s calls from jail showed a disrespect for the rule of law, and that he should not be granted bond. No charges have been filed against McIver in connection with the jail phone calls.

McIver’s attorney William Hill said Rucker had taken what was said during the calls out of context.

Judge Robert McBurney withheld judgment on the bond, saying he wanted to hear the recordings of the phone calls before making up his mind. That decision could come as early as Wednesday.

McIver has said he shot his wife accidentally. Prosecutors have charged the 74-year-old attorney with malice murder, felony murder, possession of a weapon and three counts of attempting to influence witnesses.

The arraignment marked an important moment in what has become a widely watched drama centering on wealth, class and race. The prosecution of McIver has now commenced in earnest, and prosecutors said they could be ready for a trial by mid-September.

Hill said McIver does not represent a risk of flight, or influencing witnesses, or a danger to anyone.

“He’s already served 42 days,” Hill said. “If there’s a lesson to be learned, he’s learned his lesson.”

Rucker detailed the calls but did not play them for the packed courtroom, which included numerous media, in Fulton County Superior Court.

Rucker said McIver had called his sister, Dixie, to discuss providing a vehicle to James Hugh, a former employee of the McIvers who washed their cars and ran errands.

He also called Anne Schwall, the former wife of Fulton Judge Craig Schwall, Rucker said. The McIvers were the godparents of the Schwalls’ young son, Austin. Rucker suggested that McIver asked her to reach out to her ex-husband.

Rucker said McIver told her, “All he needs to do is make a phone call. I can be out of here the next day.”

After the hearing, Hill criticized Rucker’s characterization of the calls. He said McIver was just trying to do something nice for Hugh, a man who, Hill said, had little if any power to help McIver.

McIver, he added, was “just venting, not influencing” during his talk with Anne Schwall. And McIver, he said, knew that Judge Schwall would never be so unprofessional as to intervene to help him in the case.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Torpy at Large: ‘Homes from the $500s!’ So, where do regular folks go?
Torpy at Large: ‘Homes from the $500s!’ So, where do regular folks go?

Robert Kee knew his intown Atlanta neighborhood had inordinately changed when he saw a jogger dragging some weights on wheels. “You could see the turn right there because no one would try that crap five years ago,” said the computer programmer who lives in Reynoldstown, a gentrifying neighborhood 3 miles east of downtown. Kee, who is white...
UPDATE: Masked men fire ‘multiple rounds’ at couple walking to downtown high-rise
UPDATE: Masked men fire ‘multiple rounds’ at couple walking to downtown high-rise

A man was shot early Wednesday when he and a woman were ambushed while walking home to their downtown Atlanta high-rise condo. The couple were rounding Baker Street, headed to their home in the Peachtree Towers condominiums on Peachtree Street, when two men rushed them around 3:45 a.m., police said. The victims told police the men were wearing masks...
NEW DETAILS: Deputy shoots, kills armed man in Forsyth County
NEW DETAILS: Deputy shoots, kills armed man in Forsyth County

The GBI has responded to a deadly overnight shooting involving a Forsyth County sheriff’s deputy. A man was fatally shot after three sheriff’s deputies were called to a reported domestic disturbance between the man and his wife at a home on Carbonne Court near Cumming, sheriff’s spokesman Cpl. Doug Rainwater told Channel 2 Action...
Injuries reported in wreck that shut down I-75 North briefly, Atlanta Fire says
Injuries reported in wreck that shut down I-75 North briefly, Atlanta Fire says

Two I-75 North lanes have been shut down before Mt. Paran Road because of a two-car accident, Atlanta Fire Rescue confirmed. All lanes were previously shut down.  Injuries have been reported, but no details on conditions or the number of injured has been given. — Please return to AJC.com for updates.
‘Get a mount, get used to it’: How to prep for hands-free driving law
‘Get a mount, get used to it’: How to prep for hands-free driving law

Georgia’s new hands-free driving law is coming and coming soon, folks — it’s time to get ready.  “Get a mount, get used to it, get used to getting that phone out of your hands,” WSB Radio traffic reporter Mark McKay said. Gov. Nathan Deal signed the Hands-Free Georgia Act — which prohibits motorists from...
More Stories