Home / National News / Polo Mogul Was Disoriented, Not Drunk, in Fatal Crash, Girlfriend Testifies


(PALM BEACH, Fla.) — The girlfriend of a multimillionaire polo mogul accused of manslaughter took the stand in her boyfriend’s defense Monday, claiming he was disoriented, not drunk, after a deadly 2010 crash.

John Goodman crashed his Bentley into a Hyundai driven by Scott Wilson, 23, sending the Hyundai into a canal in Wellington, Florida. Wilson, a recent college grad, died in the accident.

Heather Hutchins, whom Goodman tried, unsuccessfully, to adopt in 2011 to purportedly protect his wealth, claimed she took Goodman to the hospital the night after the accident.

“That night before, he could barely move,” she said.

Palm Beach County prosecutors pressed Hutchins on the name of the hospital.

“I’m not positive,” she said.

The prosecution also asked why Hutchins failed to mention the hospitalization in three previous sworn statements. “That’s what I remember. That’s what I remember today,” she said.

Three hours after the crash, Goodman’s blood alcohol level was 0.177, or more than twice the legal limit, according to prosecutors. But he only began drinking after the accident, not before, Hutchins argued.

Candice Freel, a bystander who arrived at the accident scene after Goodman fled, also testified Monday, tearing up as she recalled being unable to save Wilson, who drowned after the crash.

“I wanted to go in,” she said, “because someone was in there.”

Goodman was convicted of DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide in 2012 and sentenced to 16 years in prison, but the conviction was thrown out because of juror misconduct. The retrial began Saturday, and continues today.

ABC News Chief Legal Affairs Anchor Dan Abrams said the jurors will have to decide whether he was drunk.

“The most important question is, was Goodman drunk when he crashed into that car?” Abrams said. “If the jury believes he was drunk when he got behind the wheel, it has to convict.”

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