A jury on Monday found a prominent Atlanta attorney who fatally shot his wife guilty of murder and influencing witnesses, capping a weekslong trial that had riveted the attention of the Southern city. Jurors returned the verdict Monday afternoon against 75-year-old Claud "Tex" McIver in the September 2016 shooting death of his 64-year-old wife Diane, the AP reports. Seated and wearing a dark suit, the defendant showed little emotion as the jury decision was read. Jurors also found him guilty of possession of a gun during the commission of a felony and of aggravated assault. The murder conviction carries a sentence of life in prison, and it remains up to the judge whether he will have the possibility of parole. No immediate sentencing date was set, and McIver was immediately handcuffed and led out of the court.
No one has disputed that he shot his wife in 2016, but the defense had said the shooting was an accident. Defense attorneys also said at trial that McIver loved his wife dearly and that the shooting, which happened as McIver sat in the back of an SUV while his wife was in the front passenger seat, was a tragic accident. Prosecutors had said, however, that McIver intentionally killed his wife because he was in dire financial straits and coveted her money. The influencing witnesses charge stems from McIver's having told the driver of the SUV and only witness to the shooting to tell police she wasn't present when the shot was fired. The McIvers were well-connected: He was a partner at a prominent labor and employment law firm and served on the state election board; she was president of US Enterprises Inc., the parent company of Corey Airport Services, where she had worked for 43 years.