Dennis DeMartin: Goodman juror says he could be wrong about drinking experiment

The juror behind the drinking experiment that could overturn John Goodman's DUI manslaughter conviction now thinks he may have told his fellow jurors about it before their verdict.

According to a letter Dennis DeMartin wrote Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath this week, fellow juror Michael St. John may have been right when he called Goodman's defense team earlier this month to refute DeMartin's claims that he waited until after the verdict to tell fellow jurors that he drank vodka and tonics to test whether the polo mogul would have been impaired at the time of the crash that killed 23-year-old Scott Wilson.

St. John called Goodman's defense team shortly after Colbath sentenced to 48-year-old to 16-years in prison, saying DeMartin had lied under oath when Colbath questioned him just before the sentencing and he said he kept his experiment to himself until after the verdict.

Read Dennis DeMartin's letter to Judge Colbath

Colbath earlier this week rejected Goodman's push for more juror interviews based on St. John's claims. If other jurors knew about DeMartin's experiment and his results, he may have tainted the entire jury.

Though Colbath concluded that jurors knew nothing about the results of DeMartin's experiment, DeMartin himself is now saying there's a chance he might have been mistaken.

"I truly believe I told the foreman about the drinks after we heard the 911 tapes and voted guilty," DeMartin wrote. "However, if he and the other jurors say it was before the vote, I must be wrong. I certainly did not think I was lying ..."

DeMartin's letter, which he delivered to the judge Wednesday, adds just the latest twist in the post-trial saga surrounding DeMartin's self-published book about his jury experience, titled "Believing in the Truth."

His experiment violated the Colbath's orders to jurors to not conduct their own investigations in the case, and many in the legal community say that it could eventually earn Goodman a new trial.

Goodman was released last week on a $7 million appellate bond, and on Wednesday his lawyers filed paperwork announcing their intent to appeal his conviction and sentence to the Fourth District Court of Appeal.

Prosecutor Sherri Collins this week said that because Goodman's team filed that notice, all further arguments on the case would have to go to the appellate court. But, Collins said, Goodman's team could ask the appeals court to give up their jurisdiction if they wanted to go back to Colbath with another request for a new trial.

Scott Smith, attorney for Wilson's father William, has maintained since the book was released that DeMartin's consumption of vodka drinks in the privacy of his own home during the trial had nothing to do with the verdict if the jurors dismissed Goodman's defense that he drank alcohol at a friend's man cave after the crash.

Smith this week also said he believed jurors didn't buy Goodman's claims that his Bentley's computer system failed when he tried to stop the car and avoid crashing into Wilson's Hyundai.

"The evidence of gross impairment was overwhelming once one quickly rejected the incredulous defense of a malfunctioning Bentley," Smith said.

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