John Goodman case: Judge allows prosecutors to re-file vehicular homicide charges

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office will be allowed to refile vehicular homicide charges against International Polo Club Palm Beach founder John Goodman, 15th Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Jeffrey Colbath said on Wednesday.

Colbath made the decision after hearing arguments from prosecutors and defense attorneys during an early-morning hearing at the Palm Beach County Courthouse.

Prosecutors have said they intended to prosecute Goodman on DUI manslaughter charges -- and, vehicular homicide charges -- after Colbath set aside an earlier conviction over allegations of juror misconduct.

On Wednesday, defense attorneys said they intended to file a motion to dismiss the charges because prosecutors had released from evidence the vehicles involved in the February 12, 2010, accident that killed University of Central Florida student Scott Wilson.

Defense attorneys said they also intended to ask Colbath to throw out the results of blood tests taken shortly after the accident that showed Goodman's blood alcohol content was more than twice the state's legal limit.

Earlier this month, Colbath said that jurors from Jacksonville, Ocala, Tallahassee or Tampa could be impaneled for a retrial if an impartial jury couldn't be found in Palm Beach County.

Defense attorneys had argued that 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.

Earlier this year, defense attorneys argued that Dennis DeMartin, one of the jurors who convicted Goodman of DUI manslaughter in connection with Wilson's death, 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 November 19th.

A date for a new trial is expected to be scheduled on January 17th.

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