Sheila Stogsdill

Special to the Grove Sun

DENVER, Colo. – The U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s decision to dismiss a civil lawsuit filed against a Payne County man in the death of a Georgia man, according to court records.

The federal civil lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma in Tulsa by the family of Murray McGarvey, 35, of Brunswick, Ga.

McGarvey was killed in a boating accident on July 30, 2006 around 2 a.m. when two boats collided near Drowning Creek on Grand Lake. Authorities said McGarvey was knocked into the water by the impact.

The lawsuit named John Special; of Stillwater, Jason Louis Bandy, of Tulsa, Special Exploration Co. Inc.; Justin Doolin; Cherokee Yacht Club; and Big Shot’s Rhythm and Booze as defendants.

U.S. District Court Judge Terence Kern dismissed the lawsuit Sept. 30, according to court records.

A misdemeanor negligent homicide charge was filed against Special and Bandy in Delaware County District Court in Jay.

Special District Judge Alicia Littlefield ruled in a nonjury trial held in January 2008 the state did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Special was responsible McGarvey’s death. Special was found guilty of leaving the scene of an accident and fined $50.

The state dismissed the charge against Bandy for insufficient evidence.

Bandy was operating the 27-foot Formula boat owned by Justin Doolin, which McGarvey was a passenger. Special was operating a 28-foot Sea Ray 280 and left the scene after the collision. He flew his private plane to Stillwater for medical treatment the next day.

Trial testimony showed both operators and all passengers had been drinking before the collision.