John Goodman case update: Dennis DeMartin writes letter to judge, claims memory lapse due to stroke
Goodman attorneys fighting for retrial
12:42 PM, Apr 9, 2013
9:53 AM, Apr 25, 2013
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Accused of lying during the John Goodman DUI manslaughter trial, juror No. 6 Dennis DeMartin says he didn't lie about his wife's past DUI arrest because he didn't remember.
"It was blocked out of my memory since a stroke I had around 1988," DeMartin wrote in a letter to Judge Jeffrey Colbath.
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DeMartin wrote to Colbath after being thrust back into the spotlight as new allegations of misconduct sparked renewed cries for a retrial in the Goodman case.
An appeals court ruled last week that Goodman's DUI manslaughter conviction will be sent back to a Colbath for review. Colbath is scheduled to interview DeMartin on April 29 to determine if he was able to impartially judge the polo mogul. He has until mid-May to complete the questioning.
Goodman's defense team says it uncovered information that DeMartin's ex-wife was once arrested for DUI. Defense attorneys said DeMartin intentionally withheld that information during jury selection.
"As soon as we found out that mister DeMartin had published a third book, we immediately ordered it, and, to our surprise, he tells this whole story about his then-wife having this DUI and all these problems and how much it affected him," defense attorney Roy Black said in a telephone interview.
But DeMartin says otherwise -- and the only reason details about his ex-wife's DUI arrest were included in his book was because he added those details later after being reminded by a former in-law.
"I was reunited with my ex-wife and many of my in-laws. One of my in-laws laced into me about all the women that I wrote about in the Trials and Tribulations book…He said it was my fault that [my ex-wife] ended up drinking as I put so much pressure in our marriage while we owned the liquor store," DeMartin wrote in the letter.
DeMartin said that after he realized what he had done, he went back and added chapters about both his marriages and his ex-wife's past.
DeMartin said he is surprised that he was once again in the headlines.
"I can't get away from anything," he said outside his Delray Beach home last week. "I told them that there are parts of my life before that I can't recall since my stroke," speaking about the first line of questions he had ever received from Goodman lawyers. "That's all I told them."
"I told them to check my first book," DeMartin said. "And it's in the first chapter of my first book 'Believing in the Truth.' It's all right there of what the attorney asked me and everything."
Goodman was sentenced to 16 years in prison for a crash that killed 23-year-old Scott Wilson, and is currently on house arrest.
"Now, the court is going to determine whether or not mister Goodman got a fair trial," Black said. "It has been our position, from the beginning, that this entire process has been flawed."