Tex McIver has been in the Fulton County Jail since last month when a jury found him guilty of felony murder.
On Wednesday, he was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. The defense has 30 days to file an appeal.
McIver was handcuffed and taken to the Fulton County Jail after he was found guilty of murder in late April. His attorney, Amanda Clark Palmer, said her client is struggling.
"The overwhelming feeling continues to be, just the loss of Diane,” she said. “I think he is incredibly sad at where he is right now in his life. You know he lost his life partner and now he's going to get a life sentence from the judge."
Under Georgia law, felony murder is a mandatory life sentence. Palmer said they will ask for the possibility of parole, but even if the judge grants it, McIver wouldn't be eligible for another 25 years. McIver is 74 years old.
Palmer said McIver is holding onto hope that they can win an appeal.
"He, at this point I think, is just looking at ok what's next,” Palmer said. “What's going on with the appeal, and he's focused on moving forward with the case and to keep fighting."
McIver's attorneys will file an appeal after his sentencing. Georgia law requires the defendant to stay in prison during the appeals process.
Copyright 2018 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.