Dani Jo Carter—the sole witness to the 2016 shooting of Diane McIver by her lawyer husband—told a Fulton County jury Tuesday that Claud “Tex” McIver offered to “ease up” on her repayment of a loan to his wife’s estate.
Taking the witness stand for the second day Tuesday, Carter said McIver made the offer in the weeks following his wife’s death on Sept. 26, 2016. Carter is testifying in McIver’s ongoing murder trial over the death of his wife. Tex McIver, 75, is a retired partner from Atlanta law firm Fisher & Phillips.
Carter was driving as she and the McIvers returned home to Atlanta from a weekend at the couple’s ranch. McIver, his attorneys and his spokesmen have always claimed the shooting was an accident. They have also said McIver has a sleep disorder that might have led him to fire the gun he was holding, supposedly because he was wary of a downtown Atlanta neighborhood they were driving through.
Carter testified she still owed Diane McIver more than $2,000 on a $15,000 loan from her longtime friend. Carter said a monthly payment was automatically deducted from her bank account.
Carter said that, after Diane McIver’s death, her automatic payment was returned because McIver’s bank accounts were locked. Carter said she received a note from McIver’s administrative assistant at U.S. Enterprises, where McIver was the company’s president, reminding her she owed a monthly payment.
Carter said she then called Tex McIver.
“I told him I didn’t have any intention of not paying that loan,” she said. McIver replied “that he was going to ease up on it and for me not to worry about it,” she said.
That conversation took place weeks after Diane McIver’s death and after McIver suggested that Carter not reveal to police that she was the sole witness to the shooting.
It was also antithetical to Diane McIver’s approach to collecting on outstanding debts. Other witnesses, including her assistant at U.S. Enterprises, Terry Brown and U.S. Enterprises salesman Craig Stringer, have testified that, while Diane McIver was willing to loan money to her friends, she also charged them interest, required collateral and required monthly payments.
Stringer testified Monday that, whenever Diane McIver loaned him money, “It was always gentle when we were making the arrangements. It got heavier later.”
Carter testified Monday that, while emergency room personnel at Emory University Hospital were attempting to save Diane McIver’s life, Tex McIver suggested to Carter that she not to tell anyone that she was in the couple’s SUV when the shooting occurred.
McIver urged her to say she came down to the hospital as a friend of the family, if questioned about the shooting, Carter testified. She said she informed McIver, “I can’t lie.”
Assistant District Attorney Clint Rucker didn’t overtly suggest that Tex McIver might be trying to influence Carter’s statements to police about the shooting by forgiving the loan. But McIver is charged with criminally attempting to influence witnesses, including Carter and her husband, Thomas Carter, by asking them to stop talking to police.
McIver also is charged with attempting to get his spokesman Bill Crane to alter initial statements he made to the media on McIver’s behalf about the shooting.
Senior Assistant District Attorney Seleta Griffin also told the jury during her opening statement that McIver suggested to Jeff Dickerson, another McIver spokesman who was personal friends with Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, that if he could get the case dropped, it would result in a performance bonus that Dickerson could share with the DA.