We associate homicides with the criminal law. However, a wrongful death suit may also be brought over an intentional killing in some cases.

In May, an Atlanta attorney was sentenced to life in prison for killing his wife. He is also facing a wrongful death suit.

A report on U.S. News noted Claud “Tex” McIver was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. The lawyer was convicted of murder in the September 2016 shooting death of his wife, Diane.

Mary Margaret Oliver, the administrator of Diane McIver’s estate, authorized the wrongful death suit against McIver and Dani Jo Carter, stated the news reports.

Carter was driving the lawyer’s SUV. Diane McIver was sitting in the front passenger seat when McIver shot his wife from the back seat. The attorney insisted the shooting was accidental.

Carter’s attorney said his client was surprised by the suit and he didn’t contribute to Diane McIver’s death.

Atlanta attorney faces wrongful death suit

Attorney faces wrongful death suit over his wide’s killing

The New York Daily News noted Fulton County Superior Court Chief Judge Robert McBurney was obligated to sentence 75-year-old McIver, to life in prison after a jury convicted him of felony murder. The issue of whether he was eligible for parole was at the judge’s discretion.

McIver was also sentenced to five years in prison over a charge of influencing a witness. The judge ruled that sentence will be served at the same time as the life sentence. The lawyer received a suspended five-year sentence for the offense of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Before the killing, the McIvers were known as a power couple. The attorney was a partner with a prominent labor and employment law firm and he served on the state election board. His wife was the president of U.S. Enterprises Inc.

Carter, a close friend of Diane McIver, was driving the couple’s SUV on Sept. 25, 2016. They were returning from a weekend at the McIvers’ horse farm about 75 miles east of Atlanta.

McIver was said to be uncomfortable with a part of Atlanta they found themselves in. He asked his wife to pass him a gun from the center console. He later fired the gun, striking his wife in the back.

Jurors in the case acquitted McIver of malice murder. However, they convicted him of felony murder, which applies to a killing during the commission of another felony, in this case, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. In other words, the jury found the lawyer intentionally shot his wife, leading to her death.

Wrongful death lawsuits in the case of homicides are often brought when police officers are accused of using excessive force. In 2016, the mother of the 22-year-old man shot and killed by an Atlanta Police officer filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed after the killing of Deravis Caine Rogers, an unarmed man, on Monroe Place.

The Law Office of Michael West fights for families who have lost a loved one in Georgia due to the fault of another, whether in a car crash, a homicide or another type of accident. Call us at (404) 913-1529.