FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Jurors who served during the Tex McIver murder trial said they never bought the story that the shooting was an accident.
"It wasn't accidental," one juror said.
After hearing weeks of testimony and deliberating, the jury found McIver guilty of intentionally killing his wife Diane on Sept. 25, 2016. Diane died after being shot in the back with a handgun while in the passenger's seat of an SUV. Tex was riding behind her and had a loaded revolver in his lap.
After handing down the verdict, jurors Aubrey Gray and Lakeisha Boyd spoke to 11Alive's Andy Pierrotti.
"At no given time, we didn't think it was accidental," Boyd, juror 61, said.
During deliberations, Boyd said one of the questions that kept coming up was why Tex had his finger specifically on the trigger while riding in the back seat of the car. That, to them, indicated the shooting wasn't an accident.
PHOTOS | Tex McIver Murder Trial Evidence
And after considering what McIver told police shortly after the shooting – that the gun "just went off" – Gray told 11Alive "We finally just decided, 'Guys, a gun just doesn't go off.'"
Whether Tex was half-sleeping, as one sleep expert testified during trial, was not clear, Boyd said.
"That's between him and God," she said. "But what we do know is that she is no longer here with us, and that we have to get justice. And justice was served."
Another big part of testimony during the trial centered on the finances of Tex and Diane McIver. While the jurors explained that the particulars didn't weigh heavily in their decision, they couldn't deny that, "There was a small part of me that said there was something to benefit if she was not alive," Gray said.
Gray told 11Alive he was one of those jurors who initially couldn't decide where he stood in determining Tex McIver's guilt.
"I was in both camps for a while, just trying to come to a rational decision not based on emotion," he described. "It was things I saw during the trial that, emotionally, I wanted to find him guilty of, but I couldn't."
After initially emerging from the deliberation room with no verdict early Monday morning, the judge sent them back, urging them to reach a decision.
"The judge sent us back, told us to rethink what we were doing, and we got to the point where all of the jurors were able to compromise, specifically look at the evidence, take away any emotions we had and that's how we came back with the guilty verdict or four of the five counts," Gray said.
Ultimately, the jury did find McIver guilty of felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and a fourth count of witnesses influencing.