(WELLINGTON, Fla.) — Neither of the cars at the center of Florida polo mogul John Goodman’s DUI manslaughter case will be seen by jurors during his retrial.
The Palm Beach Attorney’s Office ordered the release of the $200,000 Bentley driven by Goodman and the Hyundai driven by Scott Wilson after Goodman was convicted in the first trial. The two cars were to be crushed.
Goodman was speeding when he crashed into Wilson’s car in Wellington, Florida, sending it into a canal, prosecutors allege. Wilson, 23, drowned.
Palm Beach Homicide Detective Troy Snelgrove testified earlier this week that Goodman appeared inebriated in the hours after the crash. Goodman had watery eyes, slurred speech, and smelled of alcohol, he said.
Goodman was not driving while drunk, his lawyers said, but had a drink after the crash to calm his nerves. Goodman has also said the brakes malfunctioned before the crash.
Since the jurors are unaware that this is a retrial, they have been told the Bentley was released after thorough testing.
“His car was a crucial piece of evidence in the first case,” said ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams. “This is a much better case for the defense this time around.”
Goodman was convicted of DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide in 2012 and sentenced to 16 years in prison, but the conviction was thrown out when a mistrial was declared because of juror misconduct.
If convicted again, Goodman faces 16 years in prison. He has pleaded not guilty.
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