Podcast

Breakdown

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Breakdown podcast returns with host Bill Rankin. He's covering the murder prosecution of Claud "Tex" McIver, a wealthy and politically connected lawyer in Atlanta who shot his wife in the back. McIver claims it was an accident, and the prosecution has its work cut out for it in trying to prove malice murder. But the defendant took several actions after the shooting that made the community and the cops wonder about his innocence. The AJC's Breakdown podcast ...more

Episodes

  • S05, Ep11; The verdict on Tex McIver

    Apr 26 2018

    The jury in the McIver murder case finally comes back -- after four days -- and delivers a confusing verdict that appears to say McIver intended to shoot his wife, Diane, but didn't intend to kill her. The closing arguments, four separate addresses by some of the best lawyers in Georgia, were every bit the spectacle that you'd imagine. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S05, Ep10.5 The jury is out

    Apr 23 2018

    The jury in the Tex McIver murder case gets the case and deliberates, and deliberates, and deliberates. One of the last things the jury asked for was permission to see, for a second time, the SUV in which Diane McIver was shot, AND they ask to take the .38 revolver with them to the car. So some of them sat where Tex sat and pulled the trigger that Tex pulled. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S05, Ep10: Surprises from the defense

    Apr 16 2018

    The state rests after putting up more 70 witnesses. The defense case-in-chief takes only 2 1/2 days. The mysterious masseuse, Annie Anderson, takes the stand. And the executor for Diane McIver's estate has a surprise in store for the prosecution. Then the defense rests, and we're down to couple of rebuttal witnesses from the prosecution. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S05, Ep9 The cops vs. the DA

    Apr 09 2018

    The prosecution puts up the chief homicide investigator in the Tex McIver murder case and then tries its best to show how deficient the police investigation was. Normally, the district attorney and the police are on the same side. But not this time. The police charged McIver with involuntary manslaughter, but the DA went with malice murder -- convinced that the Atlanta Police Department was letting McIver off too easy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S05, Ep8: Killer, or just not a nice guy?

    Apr 02 2018

    The prosecution in Tex McIver's murder trial completes its third week -- a sometimes grueling slog in which the state seemed to be throwing just about everything it can find at McIver. Some if it may not be provable, but none of it looks good. And that seems to be the point. If prosecutors can't prove McIver is a cold-blooded killer, can they sway the jury by suggesting that McIver is a man you can neither trust nor like? And, of course, Tex is helping the state build its case by doing the thing...more

  • S05. Ep7: Dani Jo testifies

    Mar 26 2018

    The state calls Dani Jo Carter -- the only witness to the shooting of Diane McIver. She is on the stand for more than two full days. She tells the prosecution that Tex McIver asked her to lie about being in the SUV that night. But she tells the defense that she stands by her earlier statements to police that Tex was asleep before the gun went off.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • SO5, Ep6: McIver goes to trial

    Mar 19 2018

    The state opens the Claud "Tex" McIver murder trial by detonating some new bombshells. McIver, the prosecution says, provided six different versions of what happened to his wife on the night she was shot. Or did he? Among the first prosecution witnesses was Emory University Hospital ER physician Suzanne Hardy, who treated Diane McIver the night she died. Yes, Hardy testified, Diane told her the shooting was an accident. And no, Hardy testified, Diane did not want to see her husband before she wa...more

  • S05, Ep5: Prospective jurors: He did it

    Mar 12 2018

    One prospective juror after another is dismissed for cause because he or she believes Tex McIver intended to kill his wife. At the end of a long week of jury selection, the parties are finally able to qualify a pool of sufficient size that they can select 12 jurors and four alternates from it. But the defense must be troubled by the sheer number of people who had already made up their minds.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S05, Ep4: Legal strategy

    Mar 05 2018

    Both the prosecution and the defense have enormous challenges facing them as the trial begins. For the prosecutors, it's a question of motive. For the defense, it's the defendant himself.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S05, Ep3: Muddy Waters

    Feb 26 2018

    A hard-charging prosecutor goes up against a famed duo of defense attorneys as Claud "Tex" McIver's murder trial begins in one week. Chief Assistant DA Clint Rucker can dominate the courtroom by sheer force of his personality. Bruce Harvey and Don Samuel have a long history of (successfully) defending high-profile clients, from NFL stars to rappers to strippers.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Coming soon: Back to the Tex McIver murder case

    Feb 19 2018

    After a long winter’s delay, the murder trial of The State v. Claud “Tex” McIver is to begin on March 5. Tex says his wife Diane’s death was a tragic accident; the district attorney says he intentionally shot her in the back. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Bill Rankin returns to bring you Season 5 of the newspaper’s Breakdown podcast.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S06_Ep5: The Verdict

    Dec 18 2017

    The jury in the double-murder case of Nicholas Benton could not hang the verdict on any single piece of evidence or testimony. That is, nothing that came up in court was so compelling that it enabled the jury to declare "guilty" or "not guilty." But what about something that came up outside of court? AJC Editor Kevin Riley wraps up his insider's account of being foreman on the jury in a murder trial.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S06_Ep4: Deliberation

    Dec 11 2017

    The jury elects a foreman and begins its deliberations. The cellphone evidence is strong, but jurors are concerned about the lack of physical evidence: no murder weapon, no getaway car, no fingerprints, no DNA. And the state's star witness may or may not be believable.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S06_Ep3: A trial by jury

    Dec 04 2017

    Nicholas Benton's murder trial gets underway. The state puts on a formidable case -- albeit with some big holes in it -- and then rests. Here comes the defense, and the jury can't wait to hear what Nick Benton will say when he gets to the stand. Meanwhile, if you'd like to talk with us about this case, join the AJC Breakdown Facebook group.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S06_Ep2: Voice of a Killer?

    Nov 27 2017

    First contact: An Atlanta homicide investigator goes to the home of the man who has emerged as his suspect. The man lives with his mother, and the detective winds up interviewing both. A year later, AJC Editor-in-Chief Kevin Riley gets his first indication that he will become deeply engaged in the outcome of this double homicide investigation.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S06, Ep1: A Jury of His Peers

    Nov 20 2017

    Kevin Riley, editor-in-chief of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, goes deep inside a double-murder in Atlanta. With extraordinary access to key players in the case, Riley and longtime Breakdown host Bill Rankin explore the sudden and vicious killings of Reggie Coicou and Quincy "Fat" Wytche.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Coming soon: The next season of Breakdown

    Nov 11 2017

    Reginald "Reggie" Coicou was 24. Quincy "Fat" Wytche was 22. Both were killed in a sudden outburst of gunfire in the parking lot of an Atlanta Burger King in the spring of 2016. Kevin Riley, editor-in-chief of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, gives you an extraordinary inside view of this horrific double homicide, the investigation by the Atlanta police and the prosecution of the man accused of pulling the trigger.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Season 5, Episode 2.5

    Oct 30 2017

    Neither the prosecution nor the defense is ready. The prosecution asks for a continuance, saying it would be unfair to proceed because the defense is unprepared. The defense calls the move "transparently disingenuous," saying it's really the prosecution that wants more time. Meanwhile, prosecutors get slammed for continuing to search for a motive long after they indicted Tex McIver for murder.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S05, Ep2: The courtship of Tex and Diane McIver

    Oct 23 2017

    Tex McIver couldn't get the new resident of the luxury condo complex out of his mind. She ignored all his entreaties to meet him, and he finally contrived to "bump into" her at the complex's gym early one morning. Diane was a powerful and successful businesswoman who eventually would marry Tex. But on a sultry September night a year ago, he killed her. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S05, Ep1: The McIver Murder Case

    Oct 16 2017

    Insisting it was an accident, Claud "Tex" McIVer will soon stand trial for the murder of his wife, Diane. Although Diane told ER surgeons it was an accident just before she died, the state has indicted Tex with malice murder. The year since Diane died has seen some extraordinary and often bizarre turns. This first episode of the new season of Breakdown will set the stage for the upcoming trial.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Coming soon: The next season of Breakdown

    Oct 06 2017

    Coming soon: Season 5 of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Breakdown podcast. This season, the AJC's Bill Rankin and Craig Schneider take you deep inside the case against Atlanta lawyer Tex McIver. He says his wife's death was a tragic accident; the district attorney says it was murder.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S04, Ep6: The murdered woman

    Aug 21 2017

    Before she was killed that night at the Taco Bell in Adel, Donna Brown was a hardworking restaurant manager. a beloved sister and a completely devoted mother. And if we are to seek justice for Devonia Inman, we must also seek it for Donna Brown.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S04, Ep5: Yet another bombshell

    Aug 14 2017

    In the hearing on Devonia Inman's "extraordinary motion" for a new trial, another giant piece of the case against Inman seems to crumble and fall away. Did Inman commit the murder of which he was convicted? Was he even there when it happened? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S04, Ep4: Burying the lede?

    Aug 07 2017

    If Hercules Brown committed the murder of Taco Bell's night manager in 1998, then the authorities have put the wrong man, Devonia Inman, behind bars. But it gets worse than that. Much worse.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S04, Ep3: The mask

    Jul 31 2017

    Did somebody else commit the murder of which Devonia Inman was convicted? He has always said so, Bill Rankin talks to witnesses who saw completely different things and zeroes in on a mask that police said was used in the crime. It wasn't a ski mask, says Rankin, it was an up-to-no-good mask.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S04, Ep2: The prosecution

    Jul 24 2017

    The jury that hears the case against Devonia Inman must go through the peculiar process of becoming "death qualified." Meanwhile, some key witnesses take the stand and say they really didn't see what they told police they saw. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S04, Ep1: The crime

    Jul 17 2017

    A vicious murder on a hot South Georgia night outside the local Taco Bell. The police build  an impressive case against young Devonia Inman. Now it's 20 years later, and a law professor in Atlanta is determined to take that case apart and win Inman's freedom. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Coming Soon: A New Season of Breakdown

    Jul 05 2017

    On July 17, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will launch Murder Below the Gnat Line, season four of our award-winning Breakdown podcast. Bill Rankin returns to explore a murder case with many unresolved questions.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S03, Episode 6: Banishment

    Apr 24 2017

    A judge in Georgia signs off on a plea deal for Dr. Narendra K. Gupta, who admits to three counts of sexual battery against patients. No jail time, but he agrees to leave the country, surrender his license and never practice medicine again. Well, two out of three . . . Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S03, Episode 5: Punishment

    Apr 17 2017

    In late 2011, Dr. Narendra K. Gupta stood before a Fulton County judge and pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor counts of sexual battery. The conditions of his sentence were unusual: He didn’t have to go to jail. He did have to leave the country.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S03, Episode 4: Arrested

    Apr 10 2017

    An Ohio doctor has left his practice in the small city of Lima and moved to Atlanta. Also left behind in Ohio: the lawsuits and complaints that piled up against him, many of which were related to sexual abuse.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S03, Episode 3: Compulsion

    Apr 03 2017

    Why would a doctor jeopardize his career by subjecting patients, nurses, even office staff, to repeated sexual abuse? In many cases, the physician doesn’t recognize boundaries because he doesn’t believe they apply to him.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S03, Episode 2: Prey

    Mar 27 2017

    Dr. Narendra K. Gupta had a history of allegations of attacking and harassing nurses. Instead of reporting him to police, the medical community shielded him.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S03 Episode 1: Predator, M.D.

    Mar 20 2017

    Breakdown: Predator, M.D., follows the fortunes of Dr. Gupta and many of the 18 women who claim the doctor abused them.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S02, Episode 17: Postscript

    Dec 09 2016

    Justin Ross Harris returns to Cobb County and is sentenced for the murder of his 22-month-old son Cooper. We delve into the contradictions in the jury's verdict. We also hear from some Breakdown listeners who seem to know as much about the case as anyone -- and have completely divergent views on the outcome.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S02, Episode 16: We have a verdict

    Nov 20 2016

    After four days of deliberations, the jury in Brunswick returns with a verdict in The State of Georgia v. Justin Ross Harris. Cobb County's district attorney says this is no time for a celebration. Harris's lawyers, in an emotional interview, say they are stunned by the outcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S02, Episode 15: The jury gets the case

    Nov 14 2016

    The prosecution and the defense give impassioned, powerful closing arguments, wrapping up the trial. Prosecutor Chuck Boring insists Ross Harris lived a double life and intentionally killed his little boy. Defense attorney Maddox Kilgore contends Cooper’s death was a horrible accident and that police rushed to judgment without looking at evidence contrary to their theory. The six-man, six-woman jury then gets the case and, over the next three days, sends a number of questions to Judge Mary Stale...more

  • S02, Episode 14: Leanna Taylor takes the stand

    Nov 07 2016

    Ross Harris’ ex-wife, Leanna Taylor, took the witness stand on Monday and repeated her long-held belief that Harris never meant to leave their 22-month-old son Cooper to die in his overheated SUV. Taylor spent an emotional two days on the stand, ending her testimony with a dramatic flourish. Some of Harris’ relatives and closest friends then followed her and testified Harris loved his little boy. But in the end, Harris chose not to testify in his own defense, and both the defense and the state r...more

  • S02, Episode 13: The State Rests

    Oct 31 2016

    Lead Detective Phil Stoddard ended his testimony after four days on the witness stand. Under cross-examination, Stoddard took some punches, but also delivered some blows. On Friday, the state rested its case after calling 51 witnesses to the stand over the course of 16 days of testimony. They presented no eyewitnesses, no DNA on a murder weapon, no irrefutable video. Instead, prosecutors put into evidence a mountain of circumstantial evidence and a pile of filth – being Harris’ deviant sex life....more

  • S02, Episode 12: From the gutter to the homicide file

    Oct 24 2016

    Prosecutors open a new week of testimony by calling one woman after another to the witnessstand. Harris pursued all of them – including two teenagers – over sexuallyexplicit online chats. Finally, lead detective Phil Stoddard takes the standand prosecutors play the detective’s interview of Harris at the police stationthe day of Cooper’s death. They also play the recording of Harris’ emotionallycharged meeting with his wife when she comes to see him at police headquarters.Learn more about your ad...more

  • S02, Episode 11: Shelter from the storm

    Oct 17 2016

    The judge, lawyers and jurors return to Brunswick after Hurricane Matthew. Thetrial starts back up with the initial focus on little Cooper Harris. Prosecutorsintroduce testimony about the “smell of death,” and the jury hears from ahooker who said she had sex with Harris weeks before Cooper’s death.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S02, Episode 10: Game on

    Oct 10 2016

    The murder trial against Justin Ross Harris is finally underway. The prosecution opened with ablistering opening statement, while Harris’ defense attorney countered with anemotional and powerful opening of his own. After that, the first prosecutionwitnesses took the stand, and some of them gave testimony prosecutors wanted tohear, while some of them said things the defense wanted to hear. Then, threedays into the trial, Hurricane Matthew started its destructive path throughFlorida and toward Geo...more

  • S02, Episode 9: It’s time to go to trial: Will Harris testify?

    Sep 29 2016

    We’re just a few steps from the starting gate. In a matter of days, the 12 jurors will be seated, the lawyers will make their opening statements, and the murder trial of Justin Ross Harris will begin. Will he testify? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S0 2, Ep 8: The jury panel is assembled

    Sep 22 2016

    Jury selection isn’t fast, but it is fascinating. Prospective jurors in the Harris case speak of magical powers, preconceived notions and their favorite TV shows.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S02, Episode 7 - Harris trial moves to Georgia's Golden Isles

    Sep 08 2016

    The Ross Harris trial heads to Brunswick after a four-month hiatus. What sort of jury will Judge Mary Staley Clark find on Georgia’s coast? Here’s why the trial’s new venue could be called a prosecutor’s dream.To learn more about this case, visit AJCBreakdown.com.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S01, Episode 8 - After a year’s wait, a concluding decision

    Jul 05 2016

    Justin Chapman awaits the all-important decision from the state's prosecutors: will they put him back on trial for murder and arson or end the long-running legal drama that put him in state prison for eight years? This concluding episode has all the answers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S02, Episode6: A sudden change of venue

    May 10 2016

    The Harris trial was just days away from opening statements and testimony, when the proceedings ground to a sudden and unexpected halt. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S02, Episode 5.5: A change of venue

    May 04 2016

    The defense in the hot-car murder trial of Justin Ross Harris surprises everyone by filing for a change of venue almost at the of jury selection. But the judge has her own surprise: she grants it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S02, Episode 5: A jury of his peers, with preconceived notions

    Apr 26 2016

    Jury selection, which may be close to conclusion, has taken an interesting turn. Nearly a third of the jurors qualified for the final panel – the one from which the 12 jurors and a number of alternates will be chosen – say they believe Justin Ross Harris is guilty. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S02 Episode 4 - Deciding the case before it begins?

    Apr 19 2016

    The most important moments of the Justin Ross Harris trial may be unfolding right now - even before testimony begins or the lawyers ever state their cases. Welcome to jury selection, where cases are often won or lost. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S02 Episode 3 - Leanna Harris: Once implicated, never charged

    Apr 10 2016

    Cobb police insinuated a number of times that Leanna (now Leanna Taylor, since her divorce came through in March) might have helped her husband plan the murder of their son. But those claims faded and then all but disappeared. Taylor was never charged with any crime and is expected to be a witness for the defense in Ross Harris’s murder trial.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S02 Episode 2: An air-tight case against Justin Ross Harris?

    Apr 04 2016

    The state’s murder case against Harris is formidable. The lead police investigator has already testified at length in pretrial hearings: some key testimony seems utterly damning, but some seems totally wrong.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S02 Episode 1 - Death in a Hot Car: Mistake or Murder?

    Mar 27 2016

    The evidence against Justin Ross Harris, accused of murder in the hot-car death of his son, and how it just seems to keep piling up. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S01 Episode 0: Before You Listen

    Feb 20 2016

    A state prosecutor is now deciding whether to put Justin Chapman back on trial for murder. His first trial ended in a guilty verdict after the jury deliberated about 40 minutes.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S01 Episode 7: A New Trial or a New Life?

    Jun 28 2015

    The case goes back to the Georgia Supreme Court – and this time there would be a much different outcome.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S01 Episode 6: Could Justin Chapman Be Guilty?

    Jun 19 2015

    Justin Chapman tells his side of the story.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S01 Episode 5: Young Lawyers and Old Hands

    Jun 12 2015

    Justin Chapman’s new defense team sifts through the evidence and uncovers critical breakdowns in the prosecution of Chapman, including several pieces of evidence that Chapman's public defender Jan Hankins says she never received, and the testimony of witnesses that Hankins never had time to visit.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S01 Episode 4: The New Team Goes to Work

    Jun 05 2015

    The Justin Chapman murder case attracts a new defense team full of heavy hitters and colorful characters. In this episode, we take a detour from the case in order to introduce you to some of the players who came to Chapman's aid, and learn why they took on the case for free.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S01 Episode 3: Let’s Test the Evidence

    May 29 2015

    Bill Rankin goes to Bremen in the dark of night, and with the help of an Army veteran, tests what you can see from "Stroupe's stoop." Could Gary Allen Stroupe have seen Justin Chapman from his front porch? Plus, Chapman experiences the appeal from hell.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S01 Episode 2: She Lost, but She Never Gave Up

    May 22 2015

    Meet Jan Hankins, the public defender who lost Justin Chapman’s case and embarked on a personal crusade to free him.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • S01 Episode 1: Railroad Justice in a Railroad Town

    May 14 2015

    Follow the twists and turns of a case in rural Georgia that some say landed an innocent man in prison.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices