John Goodman case: Amid publicity, judge considers moving retrial to Jacksonville, Ocala or Tampa

If an impartial jury can't be found locally

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Jurors from Jacksonville, Ocala, Tallahassee or Tampa could decide the guilt or innocence of International Polo Club founder John Goodman when he is retried on DUI manslaughter charges if an impartial jury can't be found in Palm Beach County, Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court Chief Judge Jeffrey Colbath said on Friday.

Colbath made the decision after he denied a 346-page motion filed by defense attorneys that argued continued publicity over the case would make it difficult to find an impartial jury in Palm Beach County.

Jury selection would begin in Palm Beach County and move to a different city if too many potential jurors were disqualified, Colbath said.

"Nothing about this case makes anyone happy," Alan Johnson, Chief Assistant State Attorney said. "We feel [that] it is appropriate that we try to pick a jury here. I think we are going to pick a jury and there will be enough people that can give the defendant a fair trial. We will continue on and get this case tried as soon as we can."
 
Earlier this year, Colbath ordered a new trial for Goodman after defense attorneys made allegations of juror misconduct.

Attorneys argued that Dennis DeMartin, one of the jurors who convicted Goodman of DUI manslaughter in connection with the death of University of Central Florida student Scott Wilson, did not disclose an ex-wife's DUI arrest during jury selection.

In September, Colbath delayed a hearing that would have determined whether DeMartin was guilty of contempt of court so that doctors could evaluate his mental health.

Goodman remains on house arrest.

The next hearing in the case has been scheduled for Wednesday, October 23rd.

Defense attorneys have said the earliest they would be ready for a retrial is January.

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