Tommy Lee in Court over Boy's Drowning

04/09/2003 at 11:00 AM EDT

Taking the stand in a civil wrongful-death lawsuit, ex-Motley Crue drummer (and ex-husband of Pamela Anderson) Tommy Lee recalled the horror of finding that 4-year-old Daniel Veres had drowned during his son Brandon's birthday pool party at his Malibu villa in June 2001, reports Reuters.

Lee, 40, testified Tuesday that he was sitting poolside talking with his "life coach" and had not seen little Veres drift to the bottom of the pool in about four feet of water.

"I was about 10 feet to 12 feet away, sitting by a table right by the shallow end. I heard Janelle (a guest) scream. I saw her pulling Daniel out of the water. I panicked and proceeded to call 911," said Lee, who was described as subdued (his hair clipped and wearing a suit and tie) in court.

Daniel's parents allege that Lee failed to have the pool properly supervised or staffed with a lifeguard. Their lawyer accused Lee of recklessness, saying that the party for Brandon -- which the lawyer called hastily organized -- evolved into a party for pals of the rocker.

Ursula Veres, mother of the drowning victim, testified tearfully that she was unaware this had been a pool party and that her son did not know how to swim. She also testified that her son's nanny left Daniel in the care of another nanny so she could go attend a concert.

The case continues in a Santa Monica courtroom. Daniel's parents are suing Lee for an undisclosed sum to recover hospital and other expenses as well as for emotional distress.

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