The juror credited with derailing Wellington polo club founder John Goodman’s DUI manslaughter conviction now appears to be questioning the judge in his contempt-of-court case.
According to paperwork filed in the case Thursday, former Goodman juror Dennis DeMartin’s attorneys want to know what exactly Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath intends to do at the 69-year-old Delray Beach retiree’s contempt-of-court hearing scheduled for May 30.
Colbath, who threw out Goodman’s conviction this month after his lawyers discovered DeMartin had withheld from the court that his ex-wife had once been arrested for DUI, simultaneously ordered DeMartin to come to court and show why his actions shouldn’t result in a misdemeanor contempt-of-court conviction.
Since then, two lawyers have agreed to represent DeMartin for free, and Colbath has appointed the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office to prosecute the case.
Now, two weeks ahead of the hearing, DeMartin’s attorneys are asking Colbath what their client is in for. If the judge intends to conduct a trial in the matter, attorneys Robert Gershman and Joseph Walsh say, they will need more time to prepare a defense and interview witnesses — including Goodman prosecutor Sherri Collins.
“Literally, Defendant and his Counsel have worked diligently to prepare for whatever the future holds in this matter,” DeMartin’s lawyers wrote. “The Defendant needs additional time to prepare if the May 30, 2013, hearing is a bench or jury trial.”
Gershman and Walsh called Collins a hypocrite and accused her of misconduct after she waded into the case, asking Colbath to add to DeMartin’s contempt charges a drinking experiment DeMartin conducted before deliberations in Goodman’s March 2012 trial. Collins had previously defended the experiment as “harmless error” when battling against a request from Goodman for a new trial based on the experiment.
Both the drinking experiment, and the confessions about the ex-wife’s DUI, surfaced as a result of the three self-published books DeMartin has written since he sat as a juror in the high-profile trial surrounding the February 2010 death of 23-year-old Scott Patrick Wilson.
On Wednesday, Assistant State Attorney Alan Johnson filed paperwork noting that although the judge can sentence DeMartin to up to 170 days in jail without a trial, DeMartin could actually receive up to a year in jail if a jury convicts him.
Goodman is expected to appear in court Friday, where Colbath could repeal the $7 million bond, house arrest and 24-hour sheriff’s deputy guard detail which were conditions of his post-conviction appellate bond. Goodman’s lawyers have asked Colbath to instead reinstate the $100,000 bail and no house-arrest restrictions that were conditions of his pretrial release.