Wellington polo mogul John Goodman has no plans to appear in a Palm Beach County courtroom again until late August, when his new legal team is expected to announce whether they’ll try to move his second DUI manslaughter trial outside the county.
Goodman, whose conviction and 16-year prison sentence in the death of 23-year-old Scott Wilson was overturned last month because of juror misconduct, was scheduled to appear in court Monday morning for a hearing on his new case.
But on Friday, Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath granted a request from Goodman’s defense attorneys Doug Duncan and Scott Richardson to cancel the Monday hearing and put the case off until Aug. 29.
According to Colbath’s one-page order, Goodman’s team and prosecutors in the case must now begin exchanging evidence that they plan to present at during the new trial, which has not yet been scheduled.
Another move Goodman’s team will explore is whether they will renew the motion for change of venue that Goodman’s old lawyers, Roy Black and Mark Shapiro, tried and lost ahead of Goodman’s first high-profile trial in March 2012.
Back then, Black and Shapiro had argued that the heightened media attention surrounding Goodman’s case had robbed him of a chance to get a fair, impartial jury in Palm Beach County. Local defense attorneys say the national coverage of Goodman’s trial, sentencing and appeal has made the argument for a venue change stronger than it was before Goodman’s first trial.
Black and Shapiro withdrew as Goodman’s lawyers shortly after they won him a new trial based on the misconduct of juror Dennis DeMartin, the 70-year-old Delray Beach retiree who Colbath found had — among other things — withheld during jury selection that his ex-wife had once herself been arrested for DUI.
In another ruling Friday, Colbath ordered the Palm Beach County clerk’s office to return the $3 million the judge shaved off Goodman’s $7 million appellate bond, as part of his pretrial release conditions ahead of an anticipated second trial.
The money will be returned to H. Greg Goodman and Betsey Abell, Goodman’s brother and sister, respectively. The siblings, who each put up $3.5 million in cash to spring their brother from prison last year, will each get $1.5 million back.
The lower $4 million bond, along with the house arrest conditions Colbath has imposed, has become another point of contention in the case. Goodman’s attorneys have appealed Colbath’s decision to the Fourth District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach, saying the trial judge should have restored the lower $100,000 bond that had been in place before Goodman’s first trial and taken him off house arrest.
The 4th District Court of Appeal issued an order Friday giving the state Attorney General’s Office 10 days to show why the appellate court shouldn’t grant Goodman’s appeal.