The jury in the murder trial of Wellington polo mogul John Goodman began deliberations earlier today. There's no telling how long it will take them to decide whether Goodman is guilty of vehicular homicide and DUI manslaughter in connection with the car accident that killed Scott Wilson two years ago, but if you've got some time to kill, here's a collection of other pieces by reporter Lisa Rab:
Your first stop, if you haven't yet seen it, should be our 2010 cover story about the case. An excerpt:
"I hit something, and it had to have been another car," [Goodman] told the dispatcher. "I'm just at somebody's barn. I feel horrible. And they think I'm crazy."
The "something" he'd hit was a Hyundai driven by 23-year-old Scott Patrick Wilson, a University of Central Florida graduate who had been driving home to Wellington to visit his family. The force of the crash capsized Wilson's car, tossing it into a drainage ditch. Trapped in the driver's seat for nearly an hour as Pembleton and Goodman talked, Wilson drowned before rescuers could reach him.
If you don't have time for a whole feature story, just move on down the list.
A West Palm Beach woman who was at a bar with Goodman before the accident said he told her, "Let's go get some cocaine" before leaving and killing Wilson. He's got an excuse for that, though:
An innocent-enough headline, but includes a doozie of a claim: Goodman left the bar that night not to get coke, but a Frosty. That's not some kind of nose-snow pun. He said he was on his way to Wendy's at the time of the crash. But he ended up going somewhere else--
After Goodman smashed Wilson's car into the canal, he didn't call 911 -- he walked to a friend's barn, ostensibly looking for the man's bedroom before eventually finding someone else and calling police almost an hour later. There's no denying that Goodman's blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit when he was tested three hours after the crash -- but Rab speculated that Goodman was laying the groundwork for an "I got drunk after driving" defense when he asked the friend weeks later if there was still alcohol in the barn.
And she was right:
Sure enough, the "barn drink" defense was brought up in the defense's opening statements, in which Goodman's lawyers asked "a jury to believe he got trashed, alone, in his friend's barn, in a period of about half an hour. Yet he did not get drunk over the course of several hours, drinking with friends at two bars before he drove."
If you're thinking that's a shitty defense, yeah, Goodman's thought of that too:
Trust funds are complicated things; it's hard to say what the actual motives are behind Goodman's move of legally adopting his 42-year-old girlfriend, but his lawyers said it was to make sure someone would be able to take care of the fund, "should he personally be unable to continue his historical role in achieving these goals"
Clicking around our site should yield a few more posts about the case, but these should be able to hold you over for a while. Now we just sit and wait.