John Goodman DUI manslaughter trial now in the hands of the jury

Jury deliberations resume Friday morning

 WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. --  The jury began deliberations late Thursday afternoon and was then sent home for the night in the DUI manslaughter trial of millionaire John Goodman.

Goodman, prosecutors contend, was driving drunk when he crashed his car into another car in a February 12, 2010 accident in Wellington.

Scott Wilson, the 23-year-old driver of the other car, drowned after his car rolled into a canal.

Before 15th Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Colbath gave the jury its instructions, prosecutors and defense attorneys gave their closing arguments.

Prosecutors wasted little time trying to convince the jury, after two weeks of testimony, that John Goodman was guilty.

During her closing arguments prosecutor Sherri Collins said, "He ran a stop sign. He was speeding on 120th Avenue South. He hit the car that was driven by Scott Wilson. Scott Wilson died as a result. And, the defendant did not render aid. The defendant was impaired. The defendant was speeding. The defendant ran a stop sign. The defendant, probably unintentionally had too much to drink that night. It's sure not what he intended that night. The state is not saying that he intended to do it. But there is no excuse for what happened or his actions."

Defense attorney Roy Black spent his time during closings trying to rebut the state's case. "Did John Goodman deliberately leave somebody to die in that water?  It was dark that night.  This man did not deliberately walk away and leave somebody to die. That's what they want to believe."

Black said there was nothing reckless about Goodman's activity on the night of the crash. He said there was a horrible accident but not a crime.

He said in part, "Miss Roberts told us, at the beginning of this trial, that you're going to hear a lot of stories and suppositions but your verdict must be based on the facts and the evidence. That's supposition. And, that's stories. And, as they've even told you, your evidence can only be based on facts and evidence, and that's the stuff that comes from this witness stand, and that's every single person who testified. All five of them. Well, six, because John Goodman testified, too. And, ladies and gentlemen, that's the evidence. They may not like it but that's the evidence. There's no conspiracy here."

After Black spoke the prosecution was allowed to finish its arguments.

Prosecutor Ellen Roberts said, "The state has shown beyond a reasonable doubt, that he was drunk when he pushed that little car into that canal and let that boy drown and ran away.  Is he a bad person? No, but he must be held accountable for that man's death.  You cannot let these suppositions get in the way. Look at the evidence."

Goodman faces up to 30 years if convicted.

Jurors will continue deliberating Friday morning.

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