Ten days after a prominent Atlanta attorney shot his wife, he took a polygraph test to try to prove he was telling the truth about the fatal shooting.
The polygraph test was conducted by a private contractor at the request of Tex McIvers's attorney, Stephen Maples. The examiner, Richard Rackleff, is a former FBI agent who has been running polygraph tests for 30 years.
According to the report obtained by 11Alive News, Maples said McIver was "suffering from extreme grief following the death of his wife".
Tex and Diane McIver spent Sept. 25 playing golf at Reynolds Plantation. They had dinner at a steak house before heading back to Atlanta. Dani Jo, the couple's friend, was driving. Diane was in the passenger seat and Tex was sleeping in the rear seat when they stopped in heavy construction traffic on the downtown connector.
"Mr. McIver was awakened when the driver exited down an exit ramp at Edgewood Avenue. It was dark and when he recognized the area and noticed vagrants milling around the intersection underneath the overpass," the report states as part of the pre-test interview section.
Tex McIver became concerned for their safety, and asked for his revolver "which was wrapped in a brown plastic bag inside the center console".
Diane McIver handed him the weapon and "he configured the weapon in the bag, but did not remove it from the plastic bag".
As they drove down Piedmont Avenue, Tex began to doze off again, according to the report's narrative.
"A few blocks away, he started to sit up when the vehicle hit a bump and the gun unexpectedly discharged with a flash of light. He asked if anyone was hit and noticed that his wife was bleeding."
The weapon, a Smith & Wesson snub-nose revolver, was later found on the floor of the SUV. It was still wrapped in the brown plastic bag.
Tex said they "hurridly" drove to Emory University Hospital where he jumped out and yelled "gunshot wound." Diane was rushed into surgery, but she did not survive.
An autopsy report determined she died from a gunshot wound to her back. That bullet, according to the report, traveled from right-to-left, back-to-front, and downward.
"The examinee emphasized that the death of his wife was a horrible accident and categorically denied any willful intent or reckless conduct in causing the weapon to discharge that night in the back seat of his vehicle."
The polygraph test centered on three areas:
- "Did you intentionally fire the gun that night?" Tex said no.
- "Did you consciously do anything with the gun that night that caused it to fire?" Tex said no.
- "Did you knowingly cause the gun to discharge inside your SUV?" Tex said no.
The examiner found no deception indicted in any of Tex McIver's answers.
The examiner concluded "The forensic psychophysiological credibility analysis of Claud L. 'Tex' McIver clearly supported his denial of any willful or reckless conduct in the discharge of the weapon, causing the death of his wife."
Legal expert Darryl Cohen said the polygraph may not be admissible in court, but it could still help his case.
"I think it’s a brilliant move: you don’t tell people in advance you are going to take a polygraph; you do it quietly and secretly, Cohen said. "If you fail it or it’s inconclusive, it’s never mentioned again. He passed it and, as a result, he can shout it from the top of the flagpole and say my client passed with flying colors."
Cohen said the test results could help with a plea deal if McIver faces criminal charges. The results of the polygraph were turned over to the Atlanta Police Department.
A spokesperson for the department said they are still investigating the shooting.