- Associated Press - Friday, January 13, 2017

ATLANTA (AP) - A judge on Friday declined to prevent a prominent Atlanta attorney from selling the assets of his late wife, who he’s accused of killing.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said in a news release that he filed two emergency motions Thursday in the matter of Diane McIver’s death. Claud “Tex” McIver faces a felony charge of involuntary manslaughter and a misdemeanor charge of reckless conduct in his wife’s death. He is free on bond.

Atlanta police have said McIver was riding in a rear seat of an SUV late Sept. 25 when a gun he was holding fired, hitting his 63-year-old wife.

Tex McIver has repeatedly said the shooting was an accident.

One motion sought to halt the sale of Diane McIver’s assets under the state’s slayer law, which prevents someone who has caused another’s death from receiving the proceeds from that person’s estate, trust or life insurance policy.

The second sought to keep McIver from using assets from his wife’s estate to fund his legal defense or to support him or, if the sale is allowed to continue, to hold the proceeds of the sale until the criminal case against McIver has been resolved.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Constance Russell said the issue wasn’t for her to decide but rather needed to be brought before the probate court, which handles wills, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported (https://on-ajc.com/2jNDrRy).

McIver last month held a four-day estate sale to unload many items from his wife’s lavish closet, including designer shoes and more than 100 fur coats, according to local media.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported earlier this week (https://on-ajc.com/2ikkANs) that an auction scheduled to start Saturday would feature expensive jewelry, including diamond-studded gold earrings valued at $20,000 to $40,000, an 18k gold Rolex watch set with 100 diamonds and valued between $8,000 and $12,000 and a gold and diamond tennis bracelet valued at $3,000 to $5,000.

McIver’s attorney, William Hill, told the newspaper after the hearing that McIver didn’t intend to use the profits from the sale of his wife’s estate for his own benefit.

“Never has that been an issue,” Hill said. “Mr. McIver has always offered to have proceeds go into a trust.”

Hill also asked the judge to modify conditions of McIver’s bond to allow him to travel within the U.S. for work or to visit his mother without an ankle monitor. The judge rejected those requests.

Tex McIver, who’s in his 70s, was a partner at a prominent labor and employment law firm until he retired last month. His wife was president of U.S. Enterprises Inc., the parent company of Corey Airport Services, where she had worked for 43 years, according to the company. They lived in Atlanta’s upscale Buckhead neighborhood.

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