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Florida Millionaire Found Guilty of Manslaughter
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Florida millionaire John Goodman, founder of the International Polo Palm Beach, has been founded guilty this Friday on both counts brought against him for driving under the influence and killing another driver in February of 2010.

Goodman was shown to have alcohol levels at about .20% or .23% at the time of the crash, which is over 3 times Florida’s legal limit. Though his attorneys claimed he had only had 3 drinks that night, and the crash was due to a vehicle manufacture, prosecutors convinced the jury that Goodman had upwards between 16 to 18 drinks, leading him to drive dangerously fast, miss a stop sign, and bring the life of an innocent young man, Scott Wilson, to its premature end. Goodman rammed Wilson’s car over a bank and into a canal, and then fled the scene on foot.

“After the collision occurred, Goodman made no attempt to look for Wilson’s vehicle and fled the scene of the collision on foot,” said an affidavit from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. “Goodman left the Bentley GTC at the scene … and left Scott Wilson to drown in the canal, belted in the driver seat of his vehicle.”

  
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Prosecutor Sherri Collins, in her closing arguments, emphasized the selfishness of his acts: “He called his friend, and she had to talk him into calling 911. If the defendant had rendered aid, Scott Wilson would have lived.” Goodman waited over an hour to call police.

The defense characterized that behavior as “consistent with the symptoms of suffering a concussion,” but did not convince the jury.

Goodman made headlines in January when he adopted Heather Colby Hutchins, his 42-year-old girlfriend, apparently to save some of his assets which might be lost to being sued for wrongful death of Wilson.

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The jury deliberated for 5 and a half hours, before reaching their decision.

“The jury in the Goodman case exercised sound judgment in its analysis of the factual and expert evidence in this trial,” State Attorney Peter Antonacci said. “Scott Wilson was a young man with a bright future and his life was tragically cut short. I hope that Scott’s family now experiences some closure so that the healing process can go forward in this particularly tragic event.”



Wilson’s mother said, “I’m always going to miss my son. He was the most wonderful…. I will always cherish his memories. And now, coming from me and the rest of the family and his friends, it’s time for the healing process to begin.”

Goodman will be sentenced April 30 and may face up to 30 years in prison.



 

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