Judge Denies New Trial For Polo Club Founder John Goodman

Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath said a juror should have spoken up earlier

Tuesday, May 8, 2012  |  Updated 12:20 AM EDT
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Jury Deliberates Polo Founder Manslaughter

Palm Beach County Sheriff

John Goodman

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Polo Mogul's DUI Manslaughter Trial Continues

The wealthy South Florida polo mogul charged in the DUI manslaughter death of a 23-year-old man was back in court Wednesday for the second day of testimony in his trial. John Goodman, the founder of the International Polo Club Palm Beach, is charged in the Feb. 12, 2010 crash that killed Scott Wilson.

Jury Deliberates Polo Founder Manslaughter

The jury began its deliberations in the trial of International Polo Club founder John Goodman, who is accused of drunk driving and killing a man in February 2010.
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A judge denied International Polo Club founder John Goodman’s move for a new trial on Monday, The Palm Beach Post reported.

Juror Michael St. John said that he felt pressured into convicting Goodman, 48, of DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide in March and that he wasn’t sure he was guilty, but Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath agreed with prosecutors who said that St. John should have spoken up at the time of the verdict, the newspaper reported.

"To allow such decision to be attacked months or even years after the close of a case simply because a juror experiences post-verdict regret would open our trial system to a virtual onslaught of attacks from dissatisfied parties and jurors," Colbath said in a six-page ruling.

The judge did not address the revelations another juror, Dennis DeMartin, made last Thursday, when he said in a self-published book that he conducted a drinking experiment the night before he and the jury convicted Goodman. DeMartin said that he drank the same amount Goodman allegedly drank the night of the February 2010 crash that killed Scott Wilson to test the polo mogul’s state of mind before the crash.

Goodman ran a stop sign, hitting Wilson’s car and causing him to plunge into a lake and drown, according to authorities.

DeMartin’s at-home drinking experiment and his book “Believing in the Truth” still remain at issue in the case, the Post said. Goodman’s attorney Roy Black last week called for Colbath to throw out the conviction based on DeMartin’s actions, which he said were a clear case of juror misconduct, the newspaper said.

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