OK… how the hell does this happen??? IMO, it is a case at how anyone with a boatload of money can manipulate the legal system.
Another trial being followed by this site was the trial of Palm Beach, FL International Polo Club owner, John Goodman.
NOT this John Goodman…
THIS John Goodman!
A Palm Beach County judge ruled Friday that one member of the jury who convicted John Goodman in March 2012 made a fair trial impossible.
Judge Jeffrey Colbath’s written opinion said that juror Dennis DeMartin’s misconduct with a drinking experiment and allegations that he withheld key facts about his past during jury selection for Goodman’s trial erased the jury’s decision to put polo-playin’-polo-club-owner, John Goodman, away for 16 years.
Goodman ran a stop sign in February 2010 and rammed into 23-year-old Scott Patrick Wilson’s car, which rolled into a canal, where he died. Goodman left the scene and waited nearly an hour to call 911. His blood alcohol level measured more than TWICE the legal driving limit.
Goodman is also the guy who, during his trial, adopted his 40-year-old girlfriend to protect his assets… the adoption was overturned.
How did Goodman’s legal team find out about this juror’s misconduct? The juror, Dennis DeMartin wrote THREE books about the trial. In one book, DeMartin describes how he played a drinking game the night before jury deliberations began. When Judge Colbath found out about his drinking game, he let DeMartin off with an admonishment.
However, Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath has ordered DeMartin to appear before him in a hearing on May 30 to address allegations that he lied his way onto the Goodman jury.
On Friday, Goodman’s defense team applauded Colbath’s ruling. His lead defense attorney, Roy Black, has long accused DeMartin of lying his way onto the jury with the hopes of landing a lucrative book deal. DeMartin said that he has only made $322 to date on the three books he’s published on Amazon.com since the trial.
“A juror who deceives to get on a jury in a high-profile case for his own profit is a trial lawyer’s worst nightmare,” Black said Friday. “Fortunately, this time the deception was exposed and a courageous judge set aside the verdict.” NOTE: This coming from Roy Black… who defended, IMO, guilty-as-sin William Kennedy Smith!
Scott Smith, the attorney for Scott Wilson’s father, William, said the his client was disappointed that Goodman’s conviction was vacated. NOTE: As mentioned on SH March 10, 2012, a settlement was made in a civil suit brought against John Goodman for the death of Scott Wilson… the parties agreed to keep details of the settlement confidential. The parents of Scott Wilson were suing Goodman for $100 million.
DeMartin, in an email to The Palm Beach Post on Saturday, maintained that he meant no deception when he failed to tell lawyers during jury selection that his first ex-wife had once been arrested for DUI and that his daughter was the victim of a rape during a home-invasion robbery.
DeMartin, a 69-year-old accountant, is now being charged with contempt of court and is now facing a trial himself… and Goodman has been released from prison to await a new trial.
DeMartin made a grand total of $322 from his three published books about the Goodman trial.
(Thanks to SH reader “MeAu”!!!)