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The Tex McIver case: The trial begins | Episode 4

As the trial kicks off, the McIvers' marriage, finances, and Tex's reaction the night of his wife's death all become points of discussion.

ATLANTA — Listen to Intent: The Tex McIver Case on Apple PodcastsSpotify, Amazon Music and Stitcher.

Tex McIver was indicted on murder charges in April of 2017. 

Just over a month later, as he sought a new bond, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard issued a subpoena for the sizeable collection of firearms kept at Tex's ranch.

However, after the death of his wife - who he was charged with killing - Tex asked a friend, local sheriff Howard Sills, to hold onto the collection.

As a result, his bond hearing moved forward without the collection of firearms on display and the prosecution accusing him of trying to use his connections to make his life easier - essentially rigging the system in his favor.

The prosecution also claimed McIver should remain in jail because he was continuing to try to influence witnesses in the case.

Judge Robert McBurney - presiding over the case - added that McIver could be a threat to himself or others if released on bond. A trial date is set for the following October.

McIver was eventually transferred from the Fulton County Jail to another facility in the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta.

He returned to court in August of that year, and this time, the question of a secret second will - a potential focal point of the prosecution's case - was at the forefront.

According to them, the will could've been sitting in boxes of evidence that went unexamined for months - because, as the defense claimed, it was all obtained illegally.

At the same time, Tex's attorneys filed an emergency motion for him to be let out of jail, saying his mother was sick and he should be released to be with her.

But, the motion was ultimately denied.

Then in October, more than a year after Diane McIver's death, prosecutors said they needed more time to go through evidence.

The defense agreed, but only if Tex could get out of jail.

Eventually, the judge ruled the trial was delayed until March of 2018, giving both sides more time to prepare. It allowed McIver another shot at being released on bond.

He walks out of jail in December of 2017.

The next year, opening statements in the trial get underway. As expected, it's about guns, money and the marriage between Tex and Diane.

According to the prosecution, as Tex's life was spinning out of control and his salary was declining year after year, he relied more and more on his wife to maintain his lifestyle, specifically the ongoing care and upkeep of his beloved ranch in the country.

The prosecution also outlined the events of the night Diane died, as well as the scene at the hospital when friend, Dani Jo Carter - who drove the vehicle Diane was shot in - pulled up to the Emory emergency room entrance.

On top of that was a preview of evidence about Tex's changing narrative over the whole evening.

The defense on the other hand brought up a documented history of a sleep disorder that can caused Tex to jerk and twitch while he's slept, as well as waking up disoriented.

They wrapped up by insisting - again - that the shooting of Diane was a simply accident, not murder.

Among those who testified on that first day were Roger Quillen, the chairman and managing partner of Fisher Phillips, the law firm where Tex worked for decades.

Quillen was asked in detail about Tex's status and declining salary at the law firm, their communication with him about plans to retire, and conversations with Tex following his wife's death.

Specifically, Quillen pointed to a conversation with Tex after Diane's death in which he suggested that Tex wind down his role as senior counsel at the firm at the end of 2016.

On day two of testimony, the prosecution moved from Tex's employment and retirement at Fisher Phillips to Diane's employer - U.S. Enterprises.

Several employees took the stand, including Terry Brown, an executive assistant at the company since 2010 who had supported Diane in her professional and personal life.

Among the things discussed in his testimony was a conversation with Tex about selling the couple's Buckhead condo in the days after Diane had been shot and killed.

Meanwhile, the prosecution continued pounding away on the McIvers' finances, asserting that Tex was disappointed his wife didn't have more money in her bank account.

Jurors were also asked to watch video - again and again - of the final moments of Diane's life, caught on surveillance camera as she arrived at Emory Hospital.

They're instructed to pay attention not to Diane, but Tex - what he was doing and how he was acting outside the hospital.

In the courtroom, his actions that night were described as being too relaxed and without a sense of urgency.

However, the defense suggested the video didn't let the jurors hear Tex yelling "gunshot, gunshot, someone help me" as his voice grew louder and louder.

Soon, hospital staff, including nurses and doctors, were called to the stand to share what they saw and experienced that night.

One nurse described Tex as red-faced and confused, another said she smelled alcohol on his breath, and a third said she had to ask him to help her get his wife out of the SUV and into the wheelchair before bringing her inside.

On day four of the trial, several members of the hospital staff testified that they'd seen Tex with several other people, including a close friend and lawyer, and someone who appeared to be taking notes on a legal pad.

ER doctor Susanne Hardy then testified that when Diane was asked if she wanted Tex by her side, she said "no." However, she also told the defense that Diane described what happened to her as an "accident."

Over those days, the McIvers' finances, their marriage, the scene at the hospital, Tex's reaction - or seeming lack thereof - and Diane's request for him not to be by her side all became points of discussion.

New episodes of "Intent: The Tex McIver Case" drop every Monday starting August 22. Listen on your favorite podcast apps including Apple PodcastsSpotify, Amazon Music and Stitcher.

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