Examiner: Polygraph suggests Tex McIver had no motive to kill wi - CBS46 News

Examiner: Polygraph suggests Tex McIver had no motive to kill wife Diane

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Diane McIver (WGCL) Diane McIver (WGCL)
Photograph shows seat and bullet hole where Diane McIver was sitting when she died. (SOURCE: Defense Attorney for Tex McIver) Photograph shows seat and bullet hole where Diane McIver was sitting when she died. (SOURCE: Defense Attorney for Tex McIver)

When Tex McIver sat down for a polygraph about the accidental shooting of his wife, Diane, the examiner asked him about more than just what happened the night he shot his wife.

Diane McIver was shot while riding with her husband and a friend to their condo in Buckhead from their farm in Putnam County. Thursday, we learned Tex McIver took a polygraph test.

"We covered all the things that come up in a situation: no arguments, no bad feelings, no bad day, no motive at all," said polygraph examiner, Richard Rackleff.

The examiner was hired by McIver's attorneys. During the polygraph test, McIver described dozing off in the backseat with the gun in his hand, then accidentally shooting it as he suddenly awoke.

Richard Rackleff, Polygraph Examiner said, "What he said was that it was a reaction. When he sat up, the gun went off. It totally shocked him and everyone in the car."

McIver was asked if he intentionally shot his wife, if he knowingly shot his wife, or if he was consciously doing anything with the gun that could have made it go off.  His answer to all three questions was 'no,' and according to the test, he was telling the truth.

Rackleff said he had to spend considerable time speaking with McIver before conducting the test to get an accurate sense of what readings were attributed to his emotional state and which were reactions to questions.

"He was in deep mourning and grief, unquestionably.  He cried several times.  It was hard to have a discussion and hard to do a test like this," Rackleff said.

Former FBI agent: "We didn't trust" polygraph tests

CBS46 consulted Joseph Rosen about lie detector tests.  He's an attorney who started his career as an FBI agent. He says it is definitely possible to trick a polygraph.

"In the criminal investigations I did, we really didn't use them. We didn't trust them . . . You have some folks who are sociopathic, and lies just don't matter to them. They can sit there, look you in the eye, pass a test, it could be daytime outside, and they'll tell you it's two in the morning."

Conversely, sometimes a test will say someone is lying when they're not. For example, if a person is thinking about anything other than the question they're being asked, it can confuse the machine.

"My answer may be truthful, but because of my concern for other questions, it may end up showing that I'm being deceptive."

Critics of polygraph tests say they're not allowed as evidence in Georgia courts because they depend too much on the examiner's skill and interpretation.

As of Oct. 6, Atlanta Police are still not releasing any information beyond what was in the original incident report.

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