A prominent Atlanta attorney has been charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of his business executive and socialite wife, authorities said.
Claud “Tex” McIver, 74, was expected to turn himself in to police Wednesday. He faces one felony count of involuntary manslaughter and one misdemeanor charge of reckless conduct, officials said.
Diane McIver, 63, was shot in the back by her husband in September, as they rode in an SUV in downtown Atlanta.
McIver said he accidentally shot his wife when a gun he was holding in his lap fired as he nodded off in the back seat. Diane was sitting in the front passenger seat and a friend was behind the wheel.
Police have been investigating the highly publicized shooting for nearly three months.
McIver’s attorney, Steve Maples, has called the shooting “a horrible accident” and said the couple had a close, loving relationship.
Earlier this month, the husband auctioned off Diane’s massive wardrobe, which included more than 100 fur coats valued at $350,000, according to Peachtree Battle Estate Sales & Liquidators, which promoted the collection as "a fashionista’s dream closet.”
The sale was designed to fund bequests in Diane’s will, her husband said.
She was president of Corey Airport Services, an Atlanta-based marketing company and was well-known in social circles with her husband, a successful corporate lawyer.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, McIver “caused the death of Diane McIver... by handling a gun in a careless and reckless manner where the accused pulled the trigger on the gun.”
The lawyer told investigators he had taken the revolver from the SUV’s center console because they were traveling in a dangerous part of town.
He fell asleep, he said, and accidentally pulled the trigger when he was startled awake.
His brother, John “Spike” McIver, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Wednesday that the shooting “has completely destroyed his life. This was his life mate. They were inseparable.”
The brother said McIver had called Tuesday night to tell him that an arrest warrant was pending and he was trying to arrange a booking appointment at the county jail.
“He’s very depressed about it. He keeps getting hit over and over, from one direction and another,” the brother said.
Messages left by InsideEdition.com with McIver's attorney and the Atlanta Police Department were not immediately returned.