(WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.) — Polo mogul John Goodman took the stand in his own defense Wednesday, blaming faulty brakes — and not alcohol — for a fatal 2010 crash.
Goodman, the owner of the International Polo Club Palm Beach, insisted that the brakes on his $200,000 Bentley weren’t working properly, causing the car to slam into a Hyundai driven by Scott Wilson, 23. The crash sent the Hyundai into a canal, where Wilson drowned.
“I went to grab my gear shift, and that’s the last thing I remember,” Goodman said.
Goodman testified that he was on his way to the fast-food restaurant Wendy’s to buy a Frosty frozen dessert when the accident happened.
“The first thing I remember after that was, I was seeing white everywhere,” Goodman said.
“Stars?” his attorney asked.
“Yes, and not really knowing where I was,” Goodman said.
Prosecutors have claimed that Goodman was drunk at the time of the accident after working up a $272 tab partying at The Players Club in Wellington, Florida, later registering a blood-alcohol level of 0.177, more than twice the legal limit to drive.
Goodman admitted ordering 18 drinks at the club — but he said he only had three of those drinks.
The rest were for others, he said.
He also claimed he didn’t get drunk until after the crash, when he left the scene and stumbled upon a friend’s home, where, he said, he drank heavily.
“I drank it out of the bottle,” he said.
Goodman’s defense also called Dr. David Delonga, a medical specialist, to testify that Goodman was disoriented — not because of the amount he had to drink, but because the crash likely gave him a concussion.
“That would have been consistent in the range of a mild traumatic brain injury, or concussion, to put it in layman’s terms,” Delonga told the court.
This is the second trial for the multimillionaire, who was convicted in 2012 for Wilson’s death and sentenced to 16 years behind bars. But that verdict was thrown out because of juror misconduct.
Goodman has pleaded not guilty.
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