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Jury Called in for Questioning in Goodman DUI Manslaughter Case

goodman-lawyer-duiThe Judge residing over the Goodman vehicular manslaughter case may be calling in the jury for questioning. The circuit judge Jeffrey Colbath held a hearing Tuesday after Goodman’s attorneys filed a notice of intent to interview jurors of possible misconduct. Goodman was found guilty of DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide in March after slamming into Scott Wilson’s vehicle and sending it careening into a canal where Wilson, still strapped into the driver seat, drowned.

John Goodman DUI Manslaughter

In March, John Goodman, founder of the International Polo Club Palm Beach, was found guilty of DUI Manslaughter and Vehicular Homicide. Goodman crashed his Bentley into Wilson’s Hyundai and sent it into a nearby canal in Wellington, Fla., in February 2010. Wilson, a 23-year-old engineering graduate, was still strapped into the driver’s seat and drowned.

The polo tycoon claims his car “malfunctioned” and lurched forward. He denied being drunk at the time of the crash that killed Wilson, although other testimony has contradicted him. His blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit (over 0.17) THREE hours after the crash. Goodman said he “wandered into a nearby building” after the crash because he was dazed. According to his side of the story, he found a bottle of liquor there and proceeded to drink to “relieve the pain” from the crash.

Jury Called in for Questioning

According to WPTV News, the possible misconduct concerns were spelled out in a 77-page document and defense attorneys say they came from a fellow juror. Goodman’s attorneys say that juror said members of the jury panel, throughout the trial, disobeyed instructions from the judge and talked about the case when they were not supposed to.

The state and defense are in agreement that the jurors should be questioned.

“At this point they are allegations and some of you (reporters) are saying you talked to the jurors and they say that it is baseless. We’re dealing with human beings and I don’t know why anyone would say these things. I don’t know, maybe they were taken out of context, I have no idea what was going on in any eight of the jurors heads. They are all human beings and they all act on whatever they are doing,” said prosecutor Sherri Collins according to WPTV News.

Judge Colbath plans to research case law and could make a ruling by the end of the week.

“I know that the case law tolerates some juror, misconduct might be too strong a word in this setting but, but uh, it will tolerate a lot of the jurors conduct, and… you have to cross a pretty bright line before verdicts get set aside and new trials are granted. And so I want to get a firmer understanding of where that line is to be drawn and then set about the task of figuring out, do these allegations fall on one side of that line or the other,” said judge Colbath according to WPTV News.

If the judge decides the jurors will be questioned, they will likely be quizzed one at a time. Goodman is set to be sentenced on April 30th.

DUI Manslaughter and Vehicular Homicide

DUI Manslaughter is an extremely serious charge. A person convicted of DUI Manslaughter and leaving the scene is a first degree felony with a maximum of a $10,000 fine and 30 years imprisonment. Vehicular Homicide is an additional crime with the same subset of sentencing.

Please do not choose to drink and drive. However, if you have been charged with a DUI, contact an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney in Palm Beach County immediately.

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