Case Against Former NBA Star Involving Boy’s Drowning Dismissed
Former NBA star Marcus Camby has settled a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Marcus McGhee accusing him of being partly to blame for his 9-year-old nephew’s (also named Marcus McGhee) drowning at his Texas mansion during a Thanksgiving celebration in 2016. The ex-NBA star responded to the lawsuit by stating he was in no way responsible for his nephew’s death and had no legal responsibility for the incident under Texas law. He fought for it to be dismissed.
Camby said the boy’s death was “a terrible, tragic, and unnecessary death of a young boy…who was part of Camby’s own family.” He also pointed out that young Marcus’ caretakers — his mother, aunt, and grandmother — were all present on the day of the drowning and “failed to properly supervise, monitor and control the activities of Marcus.”
In this lawsuit, McGhee accused Camby and the family of drinking and smoking marijuana while the boy went missing on the property. Camby denied drinking at his deposition, but law enforcement did discover alcohol was present during the investigation. Another officer noted that when the team arrived at home, they “observed a large group of people walking around the exterior of the residence. I approached a group by the garage and could smell a strong odor of burnt marijuana.”
McGhee said the family took over two hours to call the police after realizing the child was missing. Once police “did arrive, they detected illegal drug use on the property, and Camby was reluctant to let police inspect certain areas of his house.”
According to court documents, McGhee alleged Camby was well aware of the boy’s limitations due to his autism and his negligence should not simply be dismissed. McGhee said of his son, “Even though he was biologically nine years of age, Marcus functioned like a two-year-old: he could not talk, could not read, still wore diapers, and certainly could not swim.” Camby had left multiple doors open or unlocked and failed to activate the house alarm when young Marcus was visiting. His father said there are “many inconsistencies about exactly what happened that led to Marcus’s drowning.”
McGhee also indicated during the court proceedings the home security video that captured the boy’s disappearance, which officers previously reviewed, disappeared because “apparently the Camby family allowed the surveillance video to be overwritten.”
After he received the call about his son being missing, McGhee immediately caught a flight from Connecticut to Texas. Once he arrived, he noted that those present continued to drink while his son was yet to be found. McGhee said in his deposition, “And while all the dogs are sniffing my son’s book bag and sniffing his underwear, I’m watching this. And then I’m watching these clowns party, and I’m watching Mr. Camby and his wife. They’re also having a good time and there’s laughing and it’s cheering.”
Camby’s pond was not fenced, and the boy had wandered off into the water. When his body was recovered, Camby issued a statement saying, “Losing a child is every parent’s worst nightmare and we are heartbroken. While the outcome was tragic, the outpouring of support has truly touched us all.”
Court documents show all claims against Camby will be dismissed and the case is closed.