John Goodman blood draw the focus of Florida Supreme Court battle


The Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday heard arguments over imprisoned Wellington polo club founder John Goodman’s blood draw in the aftermath of a fatal 2010 crash, a case that Goodman is hoping will lead them to change statewide rules for DUI and drug cases.

Attorneys for Goodman, 53, have argued that Florida Department of Law Enforcement protocols involving the drawing and testing of blood in DUI cases are flawed, and could have led to skewed results in Goodman’s case.

READ: The Post’s complete coverage of the John Goodman case

Goodman is serving a 16-year prison sentence for the Feb. 12, 2010 death of 23-year-old Scott Patrick Wilson, who drowned in a Wellington canal after Goodman ran a stop sign and crashed into his car.

Goodman’s appellate attorney, Jane Kreusler-Walsh, told the panel of judges in Tallahassee that the rules need to require, among other things, that investigators use a regulated DUI testing kit for blood draws and that those who draw blood document when they have to use a needle different from the standard size.

“We’re in a position that everyone who submits to DUI testing in this state assumes that they are reliable, but we submit in terms of these two procedures that they are not,” Kreusler-Walsh said.

Deputy Solicitor General Rachel Nordby, representing FDLE, told the six justices who heard the arguments Wednesday that evidence supports the need for blood draw technicians to sometimes deviate from such rules, based on factors such as a defendant’s potential incapacitation, physiology and comfort level.

“Based on this record it does not validate the drastic remedy Mr Goodman proposes here,” Nordby said.

Florida’s 4th District Court of Appeal this summer struck down Goodman’s appeal of his second conviction based on other claims in the case, including allegations that prosecutors robbed Goodman of a fair trial by releasing his Bentley to his insurance company before his first conviction was overturned on appeal.

The appellate court had also previously rejected Goodman’s argument over the blood draw, but asked the Supreme Court to determine whether FDLE’s current rules failed to sufficiently regulate procedures for blood draws in cases like Goodman’s and whether they were wrong for not specifically regulating the work of analysts screening the samples.

According to evidence prosecutors presented in Goodman’s first trial in 2012 and again in his second trial in 2014, a blood test determined Goodman’s blood alcohol content was at 0.177 percent nearly three hours after the crash. Florida drivers are presumed impaired at 0.08 percent or higher.

Goodman claimed that he hit his head during the crash and stumbled to a friend’s luxury barn afterwards and chugged liquor there to numb the pain of his injuries. Medical examiners testified that Wilson would likely have survived his injuries from the crash, but drowned when the impact sent his car upside down into a nearby canal.



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