Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

How John Goodman's High Life Came Crashing Down

Update: Juror Misconduct?

Goodman in happier times, posing with elephants alongside celebrity chef Mollie Ahlstrand and actress Hilary Duff
Goodman in happier times, posing with
elephants alongside celebrity chef Mollie
Ahlstrand and actress Hilary Duff at a
2007 polo gala

Two weeks before Goodman's scheduled sentencing, his defense team dropped a few bombshells in their 77-page motion for a new trial. An unnamed female alternate juror had come forward to cite several instances of alleged juror misconduct: jurors discussing the case amongst themselves before deliberations; one juror saying they wanted to push quickly through deliberations to avoid missing a boating trip; and several jurors speaking negatively about the defendant's enormous wealth. "Based on the negative talk about Mr. Goodman's wealth and the issues discussed about the case, it was clear to me that these jurors had already made up their minds before Thursday, March 22 [when deliberations began]," the alternate juror said in a sworn affidavit. Furthermore, juror Dennis DeMartin was accused of beginning a book about the case before testimony had ended. DeMartin told a local TV station that he did take copious notes on the case, but the book he was writing was totally unrelated — its working title is "The Trials and Tribulations of a Senior Citizen Trying to Get a Date Without a Car."

On April 17, 2012, Judge Jeffrey Colbath convened a hearing to discuss the allegations and the defense's formal request to interview the jury that convicted John Goodman. Judge Colbath declined to make a ruling on a new trial, but decided the issue merited further investigation. Thus he granted the motion to bring the jury in for examination, Colbath said he planned to call all eight jurors (six sitting jurors and two alternates) back to court to answer questions — perhaps as early as the following week.

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