Bartender testifies in John Goodman DUI manslaughter retrial
Wellington polo mogul charged in 2010 crash that killed Scott Wilson
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The retrial of John Goodman continued Thursday in a West Palm Beach courtroom with testimony from a bartender who claimed the Wellington polo mogul bought more than a dozen drinks in the hours before the 2010 crash that killed a recent college graduate.
Goodman is charged with DUI manslaughter in the death of Scott Wilson in February 2010.
Authorities said Goodman, 51, was drunk when his Bentley ran a stop sign and slammed into Wilson's car, which plunged into a canal.
In 2012, Goodman was found guilty of DUI manslaughter and failure to render aid, but they were overturned because of juror misconduct.
This time, a jury was chosen in Tampa and brought to West Palm Beach for the retrial because of the publicity the high-profile trial attracted. Jurors were being sequestered in the hotel where they're staying.
A bartender testified that Goodman bought 18 drinks in the hours before the early morning crash, but she said Goodman shared those drinks with friends. She also said she saw Goodman holding tequila shots and a vodka drink, but she never saw him take a sip.
Evidence presented in court showed that Goodman's bill totaled about $272.
A deputy also testified he saw footprints leading away from the crash. Those footprints later matched a pair of cowboys boots that Goodman was wearing at the time. Jurors saw those boots for the first time, but they won't see the crushed Bentley that jurors saw in the last trial.
That's because prosecutors thought they didn't need the car as evidence after Goodman's conviction and 16-year prison sentence. Prosecutors disposed of the wreckage, prompting defense attorneys to ask for the trial to be dismissed.
Their request was denied, but the judge did express his dismay that the wreckage was destroyed.
"Releasing the car after the trial and before the appeal was resolved was premature," Judge Jeffrey Colbath said.
Goodman claims he left the scene because he was disoriented and needed to find a phone because his wasn't working.
Although his blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit, he claims he drank after the crash to calm his nerves.
Testimony was expected to resume Friday and continue next week.
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