81ºF

Friend testifies in John Goodman retrial, says he didn't see any alcohol at table

Wellington polo mogul charged in 2010 crash that killed Scott Wilson


WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A longtime friend of John Goodman testified in court Tuesday that he didn't recall seeing alcohol at the table where the Wellington polo mogul had been sitting hours before the 2010 crash that killed a recent college graduate.

Goodman, 51, 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.

Defense attorneys began calling witnesses Tuesday in Goodman's DUI manslaughter retrial. Among those to testify was Goodman's friend, Marc Ganzi, who claimed he didn't see Goodman drink much of anything during a celebrity bartender event at the Polo Club on the evening in question.

John Goodman huddles with his defense team during his DUI manslaughter retrial.
John Goodman huddles with his defense team during his DUI manslaughter retrial.

"I did not see Mr. Goodman have any alcohol during the dinner," Ganzi testified.

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

Last week, prosecutors presented evidence showing that Goodman's bill totaled about $272. A bartender testified that Goodman bought 18 drinks, but she said he shared those drinks with friends and never saw him take a sip.

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. However, that didn't stop one juror from violating the rules by using a laptop to check his fantasy football scores during the weekend.

Testimony is expected to continue through the week.

Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10