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Tex McIver murder trial | Defendant's fate now in hands of jury

After hours of closing statements by the defense and the state, jurors are now charged with the duty of deciding whether Tex McIver is guilty of murder or if his wife's death was an accident.

The state and defense have given their final statements after 21 days of testimony that will decide the fate of a well-known Atlanta attorney now accused of his wife's murder.

Tex McIver is accused of intentionally killing his wife, Diane McIver, 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.

    The state was the first to speak, going over the previous points made throughout the trial adding that Tex must be found guilty in all four counts connected to Diane's death. Those included murder, aggravated assault, felony murder and the possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. He also faces a fifth count in of witness influencing involving an exchange he had with family friend Dani Joe Carter.

    The state went on to detail one of the most important keys to the decision jurors will soon be making.

    "I want to talk to you about the concept of intent," state attorney Cara Convery said. "Which is important in this case and the judge is going to charge you that intent is an essential element of any crime and it must be proved by the state beyond a reasonable doubt."

    Her statement focused heavily on inferred intent which is "the natural and necessary consequence of the act."

    "When you aim a loaded gun at the back of your wife and pull the trigger, the natural and necessary consequence of that act is shooting her," Convery said. "And you can infer from that conduct and from all the circumstances that surround that shooting that the defendant had the intent to do it."

    Throughout the trial, the state had focused on words and actions by McIver leading up to the shooting as well as his actions after the fact. They also peered into the financial relationship between the husband and wife.

    On Tuesday, Convery focused on how all of these moments were related to the shooting.

    The state insisted that they had presented enough evidence to prove Diane McIver's death was, in fact, murder while leading the jury away from a new charge possibility - involuntary manslaughter.

    However, the defense also took to the floor to fight the allegations against McIver with the ultimate goal of proving their point - that McIver did not intend to kill his wife.

    Defense attorney Bruce Harvey described the case as "an accident in search of a motive" and said that the state had failed to establish that the gun itself was even aimed at the millionaire business magnate sitting in the front seat. He also attempted to dismantle the state's argument that Tex's motive for murder would have been related to alleged financial instability.

    Fellow defense attorney Don Samuel also pointed out that McIver's actions in themselves near the time of the shooting - particularly the fact that he called an attorney immediately after - were not proof that Diane's shooting was intentional. Samuel concluded that his client, while a flawed person, was not the villain he was made out to be by state prosecutors.

    Defense attorney Harvey also tackled several items and even used a gun expert's testimony in the case against the state since the dvideo showed him accidentally pulling the trigger while on the stand - alleged proof that the could be - and was - accidentally fired by Tex.

    As for the state's case that McIver took his wife to a far away hospital rather than one nearby, Harvey said that in emergencies "you go where you know" and that his client had been to Emory Hospital before. He added that there was a sign for Emory hospital near the scene of the shooting.

    Harvey ultimately went on to condemn any rumors that may have surrounded the case - including some it inferred were used by the state for a conviction.

    "We do not convict people on the clouds and fogs of speculation but on the bedrock of fact," he said.

    However, state attorney Clint Rucker countered defense arguments during rebuttal and said that McIver's attorneys were trying to hide the financial turmoil between Tex and Diane - particularly over who would get the very ranch they were leaving the day she died.

    Tex wanted his son Robbie to inherit the ranch while Diane wanted her nephew Austin, still a young child, to get the property. Rucker used a letter from Diane and a jailhouse phone call between Tex and Robbie after her death to illustrate the point.

    He also referred back to testimony that Diane had told another woman - and close friend of Tex - that she was leaving the ranch to Austin which would have been against Tex's wishes.

    Rucker added that their financial relationship was already strained with a bank account owned by Tex in the negative a short time before Diane died - even after a cash infusion by Diane of $20,000. Rucker said that years after a loan Tex had taken out with Diane, he still hadn't paid back any of it back.

    Rucker said this was only compounded with the fact that Tex lost an equity partnership in 2014. Between 2013 and the date of her death, Rucker said Tex's income dropped by 54 percent.

    In reference to the shooting itself, Rucker accused Tex of using his knowledge of guns to craft an elaborate story about the shooting and to handle evidence such as gunshot residue.

    He also reiterated words from fellow state attorney Convery, that guns don't just go off - this despite Tex's reported claims shortly after the shooting.

    Rucker moved on to the sell-off of McIver's belongings to fulfill obligations of the will even as the beneficiaries in the will have not yet been paid.

    In closing, Rucker made an appeal to the jury.

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    "Who will stand for Diane McIver, a great woman she tried to be," he said.

    After hours of final statements, the state ended their rebuttal and the jury was released for lunch then came back to be instructed by the judge how they should proceed in deliberations.

    Those instructions included many stipulations, perhaps the most important being whether the defendant, Tex McIver, is guilty beyond all reasonable doubt in the death of his wife.

    The jury will reconviene for deliberation at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 17.

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