Reports of jury tampering overshadow deliberations in John Goodman retrial
Wellington polo mogul charged in 2010 crash that killed Scott Wilson
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – After nearly five years, two trials and one conviction that was overturned, the fate of Wellington polo mogul John Goodman rests with six strangers.
Goodman, 51, is charged with DUI manslaughter in the death of recent college graduate Scott Wilson, 23, in February 2010.
Authorities said Goodman 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 those verdicts were overturned because of juror misconduct.
Jurors in Goodman's retrial began deliberating Tuesday morning, but not before yet another possible issue with the jury.
According to reports, trial witness Kris Kampsen received a text message from someone in Vermont after he gave his testimony. Kampsen is a player on Goodman's polo team and the owner of the shed -- which Goodman referred to as a "man cave" -- where the International Polo Club Palm Beach founder claims he drank to calm his nerves after the crash.
The text allegedly sought money in exchange for getting the texter a connection with the jury in order to sway the verdict in Goodman's favor. That texter has since been arrested.
Wilson's family members and prosecutors said they weren't concerned that the latest revelations could adversely affect the retrial.
"We'll just have to see how it plays out," defense attorney Elizabeth Parker told Local 10 News.
The jury was chosen in Tampa and brought to West Palm Beach for the retrial because of all the publicity the initial trial attracted. Jurors have been sequestered in the hotel where they're staying.
Before the retrial began, one prospective juror was arrested on a contempt of court charge after he searched for Goodman's name on his computer.
A week later, a juror told Judge Jeffrey Colbath she had been heckled at the hotel's pool area.
Last week, a man known as Juror No. 3 violated a court rule by using his laptop in his hotel room to check fantasy football scores instead of accessing the Internet in the presence of one of the deputies assigned to the jury.
Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10
Copyright 2014 by Local10.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.