Palm Beach News

John Goodman Wants His Entire DUI Manslaughter Retrial Moved Out of Palm Beach

Last week, news broke that the jury selection for the DUI manslaughter retrial of Wellington polo magnate John Goodman would not be happening in Palm Beach but, rather, in Tampa.

Chief Judge Manuel Menendez told the Tampa Tribune that jury selection, which is slated to begin October 6, would be happening on the other side of the state to meet a request by the defense to have prospective jurors chosen outside of Palm Beach in order to better get a more partial jury. The decision for this was made by Chief Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath.

Now the defense is asking Colbath to have not just the jury but the entire trial set outside of Palm Beach.

See also: John Goodman Jury Selection Happening in Tampa; Lawyers on Both Sides Surprised by This News

This is not the first time Goodman's attorneys have argued before Colbath to have the trial moved out of Palm Beach.

On Wednesday, Goodman's attorneys made a request to move the trial, arguing that it would be unfair to have to uproot potential jurors and bring them to Palm Beach for what might be several months.

Attorneys for Goodman -- Elizabeth Parker, Douglas Duncan, and Scott Richardson -- say Goodman himself doesn't think it's fair to have people leave their homes, family, and jobs to be sequestered in a strange city.

According to the Sun Sentinel, the attorneys wrote that Colbath's decision would be a "huge inconvenience of asking prospective jurors to leave their family, homes, and jobs for an estimated period of three to four weeks."

"It is one thing to agree to serve in your hometown every day for weeks on a jury, but is a completely different thing to be told to pack your bag(s) for three to four weeks," the attorneys added.

Goodman's attorneys have always been concerned that media coverage could damage their client's chances to a fair trial and argue as much in their latest request.

"The pool of prospective jurors willing to make this sacrifice will be significantly and unfairly reduced," they also wrote. "Worries and concerns about being sequestered with strangers in a different town will undoubtedly result in jurors who are otherwise fully willing and capable of serving not agreeing to serve."

Meanwhile, summonses for jury service for the case have already been mailed in Tampa.

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, then killed 23-year-old Scott Wilson when he crashed into him in 2010.

But in May 2013, his lawyers successfully got courts to grant Goodman a retrial after it was learned that 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.

Goodman's attorneys said that juror Dennis DeMartin, 69, had failed during jury selection to disclose this information about his wife that he included in his book.

DeMartin also wrote in a self-published book about the trial itself that he experimented with booze and drank three vodkas and tonics to see just how drunk Goodman was the night of the accident.

The motion released by the attorneys reads, in part, "jurors were specifically asked whether 'anyone in the panel themselves, close friend or family member or someone that affects you, has ever been arrested, charged, or convicted or accused of a crime.'"

According to the motion, DeMartin specifically said he knew no one in his family who had been arrested for any reason.

At the time, the attorneys said if DeMartin had disclosed the information about his wife, they would never have agreed to his being on the jury.

At the time of his arrest, Goodman's blood-alcohol level was .177, more than twice the legal limit.

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