Polo Tycoon’s Lawyer Alleges Juror Misconduct in John Goodman Conviction
(PALM BEACH, Fla.) — Attorneys for convicted polo tycoon John Goodman filed a motion Monday for a new trial based on alleged juror misconduct, according to documents obtained by ABC News.
An alternate juror reported the alleged instances of misconduct to Goodman’s lawyers, saying “it was clear” to her the jurors had made up their minds before the end of the trial.
A Florida jury found Goodman guilty of DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide in March. He could face up to 30 years in prison when sentenced April 30.
Goodman’s Bentley slammed into Scott Wilson’s Hyundai and sent it into a nearby canal in Wellington, Fla., in February 2010. Wilson, a 23-year-old engineering graduate, was strapped into the driver’s seat and drowned.
The multi-millionaire founder of the International Polo Club Palm Beach claimed his $200,000 car malfunctioned and lurched forward. He has also denied being drunk at the time of the crash that killed Wilson, although other testimony has contradicted him and his blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit three hours after the crash.
The motion, filed Monday in a Palm Beach County court, asks for a new trial or for Goodman’s convictions to be overturned.
“The defendant bases these requests on several strains of jury misconduct that were recently reported to counsel, unsolicited, by an alternate juror,” according to the motion.
The defense claims that jurors “repeatedly disobeyed their oaths and instructions from the court” in several ways, including by discussing evidence before the end of the case, by making derogatory comments about Goodman’s wealth throughout the trial, and by ignoring instructions about not reading media coverage of the case.
It was allegedly an alternate juror that called the court at the end of March, “wishing to report the various forms of misconduct she had witnessed during the trial,” the motion said.
When the court did not respond, the motion stated, the alternate juror called the office of Goodman’s attorneys and told them of the alleged misconduct.
Defense attorney Roy Black’s office said they have no comment at this time: “The motion speaks for itself.”
Goodman has already settled a civil suit over the crash after adopting his 42-year-old girlfriend to help protect his estate.
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