Multimillionaire polo mogul John Goodman will be back in a Florida courtroom today, being retried on charges of DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide in a fatal 2010 crash.
Goodman crashed his $200,000 Bentley into a Hyundai driven by Scott Wilson, 23, sending the Hyundai into a canal in Wellington, Florida. Wilson, a recent college grad, died instantly.
Prosecutors say Goodman waited an hour before calling 911.
Goodman was convicted of the same charges in 2012 and sentenced to 16 years in prison, but that conviction was thrown out because of juror misconduct. The bizarre trial featured countless twists, including the 51-year-old’s adoption of his own girlfriend, Heather Hutchins, allegedly to preserve part of his fortune for her.
That adoption was later thrown out.
His new trial started Saturday, with Goodman again pleading not guilty. The multimillionaire founder of the International Polo Club Palm Beach claims that his $200,000 car malfunctioned and lurched forward, slamming into Wilson's vehicle. He has also denied being drunk at the time of the crash, although other testimony has contradicted him and his blood alcohol level was 0.177, more than twice the legal limit three hours after the crash, according to prosecutors.
Goodman fled the scene of the accident, authorities said.
ABC News Chief Legal Affairs Anchor Dan Abrams said he’s not surprised there’s a retrial in the case, and that the judge is intent on making sure the jurors are not influenced by media coverage.
“This has been such a crazy case. In the first trial, a juror was convicted on misconduct charges and sentenced to real jail time,” Abrams said. “During jury selection for the retrial, a prospective juror was arrested for Googling about the case and talking about what he found to another person on the jury panel.
“And then you have the bizarre fact that the defendant tried to adopt his own girlfriend. This is a case rife with problems if the jurors see any media coverage. That’s why they’re being sequestered.”