It only took about three months, but John Goodman, the Houston-bred multi-millionaire playboy air conditioning heir and Palm Beach polo patron, is finally behind bars.
Daybreak found him in the Palm Beach County jail on $100,000 bond, facing charges of vehicular homicide, DUI manslaughter and failing to give information or render aid in a wreck.
In the wee hours of February 12, after a long night of partying, Goodman ran a stop sign and smashed his $60,000 convertible Bentley into the broadside of a Hyundai Sonata driven by recent engineering graduate Scott Wilson. Wilson's car was sent flying into a canal, where it sank, trapping the 23-year-old Wilson inside and drowning him.
Although police on the scene indicated that alcohol played a role in the crash, and Goodman left the scene of the accident on foot, no charges were filed until yesterday afternoon, and Goodman surrendered to police this morning. Once he makes bail, he will be on supervised release and is forbidden from drinking or driving or leaving Palm Beach County.
Goodman's woes are not confined to criminal court.
Last month, Scott Wilson's parents filed a wrongful death civil lawsuit, and Wilson family attorney Scott Smith has said that now that criminal charges have been filed, he can subpoena police documents -- blood alcohol and drug tests administered after the crash for example -- for use in the civil suit.
Regarding the criminal case, famed Miami attorney Roy Black issued the following statement this morning in Goodman's defense:
Mr. Goodman intends to vigorously defend himself against the criminal charges while continuing to do all within his power to minimize any further suffering by the Wilson family. After thoroughly reviewing the facts available to us, the defense team believes that the arrest warrant and charges reveal only a part of the whole story. Mr. Goodman is entitled to his day in court. We ask that the public and the media not rush to judgment until all of the facts are known.
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