Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

How John Goodman's High Life Came Crashing Down

Verdict

On Friday, March 23, 2012, the six-person jury (in Florida, a panel of six is all that is required for non-capital crimes) reached a verdict after five and a half hours of deliberation. They found John Goodman guilty of DUI Manslaughter and Vehicular Homicide (and failing to render aid on either count). Goodman showed little emotion and was immediately taken into custody before his sentencing hearing, which is set for April 30, 2012. Judge Jeffrey Colbath can sentence the defendant as much as 30 years in prison.

After the verdict, the victim's parents talked about their sadness at losing their son Scott. "No one should outlive his child," said William Wilson, "I have lost my best friend." Scott's mother Lili told reporters "I will always remember my son," she said fighting through tears, "This is the time for healing to begin."

Goodman's attorney Roy Black left the courthouse without comment (his office would later put out a press release announcing they planned to appeal), but prosecutor Ellen Roberts spoke to the media after the verdict. "I think justice was served," she said. Reached by the Sun Sentinel newspaper, juror Dennis DeMartin told a reporter the jury didn't buy Goodman's story at all: "We didn't believe he was in the 'man cave'.(i.e., the well-stocked liquor cabinet in a barn) There was no proof." DeMartin later told ABC News that Goodman had hurt himself with a "pitiful" performance on the stand. "I really felt sorry for him," DeMartin said "I didn't think they should have put him on up there. I think that was mistake." It would be just one of many mistakes John Goodman will have ample time to consider behind bars.

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