After allegedly causing a fatal, drunken car crash in February that killed 23-year-old Scott Wilson, polo mogul John Goodman disappeared from Wellington for awhile.
For three months, the multimillionaire founder of the International Polo Club Palm Beach was staying in posh Miami hotels, free to enjoy the finer comforts of life. He had not yet been arrested or charged with any crime.
On March 4, Goodman and a group of friends got fifth-row tickets to a Lakers-Heat game. Marc Ganzi, Sugar Erskine, and Kris Kampsen --
all Wellington polo players -- drove down to Miami to meet up with the elusive polo patron, Kampsen told Palm Beach County sheriff's investigators.
Before the game, they ate dinner at the swanky steak house the Palm Restaurant with Goodman's brother Greg and his two sons. (The Goodman brothers were apparently getting along much better than they had years ago, when they had a legal spat over money). Mostly, the group talked about polo.
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"Dinner conversation was light," Kampsen said in a sworn interview. Goodman was concerned about how the polo club was running in his absence.
"Is it running good?" Kampsen remembered Goodman asking. "Are the hedges trimmed right? If they're not, would you call me and tell me the hedges aren't trimmed?"
As they were leaving the restaurant, Goodman mentioned to Kampsen that he had stopped by Kampsen's barn the morning of the crash, looking for a phone. He also asked if Kampsen still had alcohol in his barn. His query raised questions about whether Goodman might claim, as part of his defense strategy, that he got drunk after the crash, instead of before it.
On May 19, authorities arrested Goodman in his hotel room at the Four Seasons in Miami. He was charged with DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and failure to render aid. He pleaded not guilty and is free on bond.