(NEW YORK) — The daughter of the U.S. Open tennis referee accused of bludgeoning her husband to death says her mother is innocent and the charges against her are “completely ridiculous.”
Lois Goodman, 70, a veteran line judge, was charged with first-degree murder after, police say, she hit her husband, Alan Goodman, of 50 years in their Los Angeles home on April 17 with a coffee mug and stabbed him with the broken shards.
“I have never seen them fight,” Allison Rogers, Goodman’s daughter, said. “They were a wonderful loving couple. They were happily married. And we were a happy family. This is just completely ridiculous.”
Rogers says the past few weeks have been a living nightmare for her mother, who was released on $500,000 bail Sunday and placed under house arrest after spending nearly two weeks in jail.
“When I visited her and saw her for the first time, she was just like, ‘Why? I did everything they asked. I told them what I know. Why am I here?” Rogers said.
Goodman’s attorney, Robert Sheahen, blamed the police for botching the investigation from the start.
“Mrs. Goodman wasn’t there, she doesn’t know what happened and if the police had done a good job at the beginning, we might know what happened,” Sheahen said. “But instead they botched the investigation from start to finish.”
Goodman called police on April 17 and told officers she arrived home and found her 80-year-old husband dead. Goodman says her husband suffered a heart attack then had fallen in their home.
“She surmised that he must have had a heart attack and fallen down the stairs,” Lt. David Storaker, the chief of detectives at the LAPD’s Topanga station, told ABC News in August.
But an autopsy revealed “deep, penetrating blunt-force trauma that was consistent with being inflicted with a sharp object.”
Only then did authorities investigate the alleged murder scene.
Officers concluded that there was no sign of forced entry, and the statements Goodman made seemed suspicious, so they investigated further, Storaker said. The cause of death was multiple injuries to the head, he said.
Goodman was officiating qualifying matches for the U.S. Open in New York City when she was arrested on Aug. 21 and extradited back to Los Angeles on murder charges.
“My mother would never do something like this, ever. Not in a million years. She’s completely innocent,” Rodgers said.
The next court hearing for Goodman is scheduled for Oct. 3. Until then, Rogers says her mother is trying to move on and focus on the sport she loves.
“Tennis was her life,” she said. “Even in our conversation …she was discussing with me on how she was planning on working from home, organizing the officials for the different matches.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Joshua Berlinger, CNN
Lina de Florias, CNN Newswire