ATLANTA -- Tex McIver was brought into a Fulton County courtroom in handcuffs, with a scraggly white beard on his face on Tuesday morning. He sat quietly as he faced formal arraignment for his wife's murder last September.
After the judge read the seven charges against the 74-year-old Atlanta attorney, he asked if McIver understood the charges.
"Yes," the attorney said, nodding his head.
Attorneys for both sides began a debate on the disposition of guns owned by McIver, including 10 handguns and 25 long guns taken from McIver's Lake Oconee home, and presently in the possession of the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.
An order to bring some of the guns into court during Tuesday's session was part of an earlier subpoena in the case.
As the Atlanta attorney seeks a new bond, District Attorney Paul Howard’s office issued a subpoena for “all firearms, weapons… attachments (and) ammunition… formally (sic) in the possession of Claud Lee MxcIver III.” The subpoena covers 10 handguns and 25 long guns taken from McIver’s Lake Oconee home, according to Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills. Sills put the guns in the Sheriff's property room at McGiver's request after a judge ordered him to surrender them as a condition of his bond. That bond was revoked in April after an investigator found a handgun in McIver's Buckhead condo.
"I think Paul Howard wants guns in the court to show this is a gun happy, trigger happy guy, and that’s how his wife got shot," said Tom West, a defense attorney unaffiliated with the case. A bond hearing in the case is scheduled Tuesday.
McIver doesn’t dispute that he shot and killed his wife Diane as they rode through Atlanta on a September evening. With a handgun in his lap, McIver says he fell asleep and fired the shot accidentally. McIver’s attorney calls the subpoena for the 35 guns “improper gamesmanship and shameless grandstanding… for a staged photo-op” in the courtroom.
Sheriff Sills tells 11Alive News he will not bring the 35 guns to court Tuesday. He says the judge in the case issued a temporary order suspending the subpoena until the two sides hash it out in court.