WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Jury selection is expected to begin this morning in the DUI manslaughter trial of Wellington polo mogul John Goodman, accused of driving drunk and leaving the scene of the February 2010 crash that killed 23-year-old Scott Wilson.
Goodman, 48, faces up to 30 years in prison if a jury convicts him of both charges. Attorneys are expected to begin questioning potential jurors at 9:30 a.m.
Jurors selected in the case will hear from witnesses who will testify about the time Goodman spent at The Player's Club restaurant and bar, where he partied with friends after a charity event. It was shortly after he left the bar that Goodman crashed his Bentley GTC convertible into Wilson's Hyundai Sonata, causing it to overturn and plunge into a nearby canal, where Wilson drowned.
A woman who was in a trailer not far from the crash scene told investigators that Goodman eventually knocked on the door and asked to use her phone, which he used to call his girlfriend. She said he called 911 after she encouraged him to do so, but he also asked her whether he appeared to be impaired.
A blood sample taken from Goodman three hours after the crash showed his blood alcohol level at 0.177 percent, more than twice the level at which drivers are presumed impaired in Florida.
Goodman's manslaughter trial is expected to last two weeks. A trial is scheduled for the end of the month in a wrongful death suit the Wilson's parents have filed against him.