Judge orders mental health evaluation for former John Goodman trial juror Dennis DeMartin
Doctors will evaluate DeMartin
1:48 PM, Sep 30, 2013
10:48 PM, Sep 30, 2013
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court Chief Judge Jeffrey Colbath has delayed a hearing that would have determined whether Dennis DeMartin, the juror in the DUI manslaughter trial of John Goodman whose alleged misconduct won the International Polo Club Palm Beach founder a new trial, was guilty of contempt of court.
On Monday afternoon, Colbath agreed to delay the hearing by at least 30 days so that doctors could evaluate DeMartin's mental health.
Last year, DeMartin admitted that he conducted a drinking experiment before jury deliberations.
He was also alleged to have hidden a former wife's DUI arrest from attorneys and Colbath.
The judge's decision pleased defense attorneys, but frustrated Ellen Roberts, the former Assistant State Attorney who convicted Goodman.
Roberts believes DeMartin is fit to stand trial.
"My thought was, "When is this going to end?," Roberts told reporters. "At what point in time are we going to send Mr. Goodman to jail and get this over with?" It has been dragging on forever. The judge needs to send a message to the community. The judge tells you not to do something, you know, he's not kidding. And, I think he needs to be punished accordingly."
In 2012, a panel of six jurors, including DeMartin, convicted Goodman of DUI manslaughter for the death of University of Central Florida student Scott Wilson, 23.
Defense attorneys Robert Gershman and Joe Walsh had initially asked Colbath to allow outside experts to evaluate DeMartin to determine his
mental competence on Friday.
"We have a good faith belief that he may a mental disease or defect that would affect his ability to help us in preparation and presentation of the case," Gershman said.
Gershman and Walsh have said they would ask the 4th District Court of Appeal to drop the charge, which carries a sentence of up to six months in jail.
Next month, attorneys for Goodman are expected to file a motion to move his re-trial out of Palm Beach County.