Criminal Justice

Former Fisher & Phillips partner is convicted of felony murder in wife's death

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Former Fisher & Phillips partner Claud “Tex” McIver was found guilty of felony murder on Monday in the fatal shooting of his wife, Diane McIver, while they were riding in an SUV in 2016.

Jurors in Atlanta also found the 75-year-old lawyer guilty of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and influencing a witness, report the Daily Report, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Law360, WBRC and WSB Radio. He was acquitted on a charge of malice murder.

The charge of influencing a witness was based on an accusation that McIver tried to persuade the driver of the vehicle not to talk with police about the shooting.

Prosecutors had contended McIver was facing financial problems and owed his wife hundreds of thousands of dollars when he shot her in September 2016 while riding in the back seat of an SUV. Diane McIver was riding in the passenger seat.

The prosecution had introduced testimony that McIver’s law firm income had dropped from an average of $570,000 a year during his first seven years of marriage to Diane McIver to $275,000 for the fiscal year that ended four days before her death.

The defense had maintained that McIver accidentally shot his wife after falling asleep while holding a gun he was carrying because he feared the neighborhood they were riding in.

The defense had presented evidence that McIver had a sleep disorder that causes people to act out their dreams and to be in a state of “confusional arousal” when awakened.

Jurors had deliberated for about four days following 20 days of trial testimony.

Earlier on Monday, jurors had told the judge they were deadlocked on all charges except for possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, according to an earlier story by the Daily Report. Judge Robert McBurney told jurors to keep deliberating.

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