A prominent Atlanta attorney who fatally shot his wife in September in what he claims was a terrible accident was indicted Thursday for her murder, PEOPLE confirms.
Claud “Tex” McIver, 64, was riding in his vehicle’s back seat in Atlanta the evening of Sept. 25 when, he claimed, his .38 snub-nose revolver accidentally went off, fatally wounding his executive wife, Diane McIver, who was seated in the front passenger seat.
The vehicle was being driven by Diane’s best friend at the time, according to Claud’s lawyer, Steve Maples, who previously told PEOPLE the gun fired after the vehicle hit a speed bump.
Claud told police he had been holding his gun in his lap after several individuals approached the vehicle, and it fired as he was dozing off. He told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in October that he “lurched” awake suddenly and fired the gun.
Diane was taken to Emory University Hospital and died in surgery several hours later. She was 63. The Fulton County Medical Examiner determined she died of a gunshot wound to the back that had passed through her seat.
Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Paul L. Howard, Jr. announced in a statement Thursday that grand jurors returned an indictment charging Claud with malice murder and six other criminal counts.
Claud is also facing charges for possessing a firearm, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and three counts of unlawfully influencing witnesses in this case. He is set to be arraigned in the coming days, Howard said.
He has yet to enter pleas to the charges against him but maintains he did not mean to kill his wife.
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Diane’s shooting has been under investigation for months, and her husband was previously charged with reckless conduct and involuntary manslaughter in connection with her death.
His bond on those charges was revoked on Wednesday, one day before the indictment was announced, because a gun was found in his residence. (Claud’s defense reportedly said he did not know the weapon was there.)
Prosecutors also claim Claud has hidden an updated version of his wife’s will that could show “evidence of the motive in her death,” the AJC reported earlier this week.
Maples, Claud’s attorney, could not be reached for comment on Thursday. He told the AJC that forensic evidence from the vehicle where Diane was shot will prove her husband is innocent of murder.
“He has cooperated with every step of this investigation,” Maples told the paper following the indictment.
Diane was president of the Atlanta-based marketing company Corey Airport Services, where she worked for 43 years. Employees described her as a “passionate leader and prominent businesswoman” on the company’s Facebook page.
Before his retirement, Claud was a partner at law firm Fisher Phillips and sat on the advisory committee of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Gun Violence.