Potential Juror in John Goodman Retrial Arrested Before Trial Begins
The John Goodman retrial has yet to start, but it's already beginning to get a little nuts after a potential juror was placed under arrest for contempt of court Thursday.
The juror, Travis Van Vliet, 23, of Lithia in Hillsborough County, Googled the Goodman case, which is a no-no, and learned that it was a retrial. He then told another person in the jury pool about what he had learned, which got him nicked by Palm Beach County Chief Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Colbath.
Coming into their interviews with the attorneys, jurors were screened to make sure they knew nothing about the Goodman case.
According to WPTV, an assistant working with Goodman's attorneys spotted Van Vliet talking to another juror in the hallway. The two were discussing what Van Vliet had discovered about Goodman's original trial through his internet search.
Colbath was notified, and he called Van Vliet to discuss what the assistant had seen.
"You are starting to make me upset," Colbath said via WPTV. "I don't want to throw you in jail."
Van Vliet apparently began to change his story and became nervous as the judge questioned him. Van Vliet eventually admitted to what he had done and said.
Colbath then ordered a bailiff to place Van Vliet under arrest and charged him with contempt of court. Van Vliet spent Thursday night in jail.
He has been eliminated as a potential juror.
This could have been the second time a juror derailed the Goodman trial.
Goodman had been sentenced to 16 years in prison after he got drunk, got in his car and drove while intoxicated more than twice the legal limit, ran a stop sign, and then killed 23-year-old Scott Wilson when he crashed into him in 2010.
In May 2013, Goodman's lawyers successfully got courts to grant him a retrial after it was learned one of the jurors apparently wrote a self-published book titled Will She Kiss Me or Kill Me? in which he wrote that his wife was once busted for DUI.
That juror, Dennis DeMartin, 69, failed during jury selection to disclose that information.
According to a motion filed by the attorneys, DeMartin specifically said he knew no one in his family who had been arrested for any reason.
So, a retrial was set.
The retrial is set to begin this Saturday.
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