John Goodman gets 16-year sentence after second DUI manslaughter conviction

Wellington polo mogul receives same sentence as first trial

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A Wellington polo mogul who was found guilty for the second time in a 2010 crash that killed a recent college graduate has been sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Judge Jeffrey Colbath handed down the sentence for John Goodman on Friday.

Goodman, 51, was convicted last month of DUI manslaughter and second-degree vehicular homicide in the February 2010 death of Scott Wilson, 23.

It was the second such conviction for the International Polo Club Palm Beach founder after the outcome of his 2012 trial was overturned because of juror misconduct.

Prosecutors sought the same 16-year sentence for his most recent conviction.

"The state is asking that the sentence be no less today because, frankly, the crime is just as horrible today as it was then," assistant state attorney Sherri Collins said during Wednesday's sentencing hearing.

However, defense attorney Douglas Duncan called it an "isolated incident in Mr. Goodman's otherwise exemplary life."

Colbath waited until Friday to make a decision while he considered a request by defense attorneys to release Goodman from jail on bond while they appeal his conviction.

"I didn't learn anything new," the judge said. "I didn't come to any new epiphany. There were no new facts that were unearthed, so the sentence I imposed the first time around, I feel, is an appropriate sentence still today. And that is 16 years in the Department of Corrections with a four-year mandatory minimum."

Colbath also denied a request by Goodman's attorneys for bond.

Prosecutors called Goodman a flight risk because of his wealth, but his attorneys said Goodman is no longer wealthy. Prosecutors also want him to pay restitution for the cost of prosecuting him, which they said is more than $100,000.

They claimed Goodman was intoxicated when he crashed his Bentley into Wilson's Hyundai in the early morning of Feb. 12, 2010, after a night of drinking. Wilson's car plunged into a canal, where the University of Central Florida graduate drowned.

Scott Wilson was killed when his car was struck by John Goodman's Bentley and plunged into a canal in February 2010.

Evidence during the trial showed that Goodman racked up a bar tab of about $272 in the hours before the crash and that his blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit.

Goodman admitted to taking two tequila shots and having a vodka drink at the Players Club, but he denied being intoxicated.

Instead, defense attorneys claimed a disoriented Goodman left the scene to find help and stumbled upon a polo player's shed, where he drank a bottle of liquor to calm his nerves.

Defense attorneys also presented testimony from a former NASA rocket scientist who claimed Goodman's Bentley malfunctioned, accounting for the high rate of speed at which it collided with Wilson's car.

Wilson's mother, Lili Wilson, attended the sentencing but left the courtroom without speaking to reporters.

Because of the intense publicity surrounding the trial, jurors were chosen in Tampa and brought to West Palm Beach, where they were sequestered at a hotel for the lengthy trial.

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