Upper Deck Co-Founder Died of Alcohol Poisoning: ME Report

Richard McWilliam, 59, was found dead inside his Rancho Santa Fe estate on Jan. 5

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An autopsy report from the county medical examiner obtained exclusively by NBC 7 Thursday revealed the cause of death for Richard McWilliam, co-founder of the Carlsbad-based Upper Deck Trading Card Company.

    McWilliam was found dead inside his Rancho Santa Fe estate on Jan. 5.

    The autopsy report obtained exclusively by NBC 7 reveals he died from alcohol poisoning. The report says McWilliam had been binge drinking for several days and had a blood-alcohol level of 0.27 in his system at the time of his death.

    That blood-alcohol level is more than three times the legal limit.

    The report goes on to say that McWilliam had a history of drug and alcohol abuse, had alcoholic dementia and was abusing pain medication.

    His wife told investigators her husband had "chronically abused alcohol for the past three decades" and that the abuse worsened after heart surgery in 2008. She also told investigators McWilliam had suffered at least three seizures in the last year of his life.

    His wife also told investigators McWilliam had "used cocaine and marijuana when he was in his 20s but had not used illicit substances since." The medical examiner's report said no obvious suicide notes or illicit drugs were found at McWilliam's estate at the time of his death.

    In 2012, the 59-year-old Upper Deck co-founder had also been under a court-ordered conservatorship. He promised a judge he would go to rehab, but according to the medical examiner's report, McWilliam relapsed that same day.

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