Lead investigator testifies in John Goodman DUI manslaughter retrial

Deputy Troy Snelgrove talks about phone calls polo mogul made to 911, girlfriend after 2010 fatal crash

John Goodman appears in court during his retrial.
John Goodman appears in court during his retrial.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Jurors in the retrial of Wellington polo mogul John Goodman heard testimony Friday from the lead investigator in the 2010 crash that killed a recent college graduate.

Goodman is charged with DUI manslaughter in the death of Scott Wilson, 23, 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.

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Deputy Troy Snelgrove testified about the phone calls Goodman made to 911 and the message he left for his girlfriend. Snelgrove also explained how his investigation took him to the Players Club, where Goodman had been hours before the crash.

Scott Wilson was killed in a 2010 crash with Wellington polo mogul John Goodman.
Scott Wilson was killed in a 2010 crash with Wellington polo mogul John Goodman.

"I had "I also asked if I could … get any bar receipts that came from Mr. Goodman or the people he was drinking with," Snelgrove said.

Snelgrove also spoke about how investigators were able to recreate the impact of the crash.

The Bentley weighed 3,600 pounds and was traveling 63 mph when it slammed into Wilson's car, which weighed 2,000 pounds less.

Snelgrove also spoke about an additional piece of evidence found during the reconstruction.

"The vehicle was registered in Texas, which means it had a front license plate on it," Snelgrove said. "When the Bentley came through the intersection and struck the Hyundai, it actually left the imprint of the numbers on the license plate on the front wheel."

Snelgrove said there was no evidence that the driver of the Bentley used the brakes at the time of the impact.

In court Thursday, a bartender testified that Goodman bought 18 drinks, but she said Goodman shared them 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.

Goodman, founder of the International Polo Club Palm Beach, 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.

A jury was selected in Tampa and brought to West Palm Beach for the retrial because of all the publicity the high-profile trial attracted initially. Jurors have been sequestered in the hotel where they're staying.

Testimony was expected to resume Saturday.

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