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Attorney Tex McIver's murder conviction for killing his wife overturned by Ga. Supreme Court

He was convicted of felony murder in 2018 and given a life sentence in prison.

ATLANTA — The Georgia Supreme Court has reversed Claud Lee “Tex” McIver III’s convictions for felony murder and possession of a firearm from his 2018 conviction after the shooting death of his wife in 2016. 

In a news release, they said the trial court erred in denying his request to charge the jury on a lesser involuntary manslaughter offense. The Court, however, affirmed McIver’s conviction for influencing a witness.

McIver was convicted of felony murder in 2018 and given a life sentence in prison, but his attorneys argued the jury in the case was not properly instructed to consider a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter.

The state Supreme Court agreed.

His attorneys argued he unintentionally shot his wife on September 25, 2016. The two were riding in an SUV when he discharged a gun while traveling down Piedmont Road in Atlanta, court records show. Diane died after being shot in the back with a handgun while in the passenger's seat of the SUV. Tex was riding behind her and had a loaded revolver in his lap, evidence showed.  

“The charge was authorized by law and some evidence supported the giving of the charge,” the state Supreme Court opinion stated.

The Court added that “the failure to give the charge was not harmless error, because we cannot say that it is highly probable that this error did not contribute to the jury’s verdicts.”

A jury found the prominent Atlanta attorney guilty of felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. He was also found guilty of witness influencing involving an exchange he had with a family friend.

McIver's Defense Attorney Amanda Clark-Palmer said they are "completely thrilled" that the murder conviction had been reversed. 

"This is a day that we have been waiting for since the jury verdict came back in 2018," Clark-Palmer said.

"We have felt since we first got in this case very strongly that Tex is absolutely innocent of everything he was charged with. He loved his wife. He did not mean to hurt her. And he's not a murderer. So just thrilled with the Supreme Court's decision today," Clark-Palmer added.

Clint Rucker tried the case for the Fulton County District Attorney's Office, but has since left to go into private practice. He said he wanted to go through the entire decision before he responds.

This is a developing story. Check back often for new information.

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