Judge allows International Polo Club founder John Goodman to travel to Texas to see ailing mother

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- International Polo Club founder John Goodman will be allowed to travel to Texas to see his ailing mother, 15th Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Jeffrey Colbath said on Wednesday.

Colbath made the decision during an emergency hearing at the Palm Beach County Courthouse.

Harriet Goodman, Goodman's mother, has been hospitalized in Houston and is gravely ill, according court documents filed on Tuesday.

Colbath said Goodman, who remains under house arrest as he waits to be retried on DUI manslaughter charges, would have to travel to Houston on a commercial flight and be accompanied by four Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office deputies.

Former Assistant State Attorney Ellen Roberts, who prosecuted Goodman in connection with the death of University of Central Florida student Scott Wilson in 2012, said Goodman remained a flight risk.

"The precautions are certainly in place," Roberts said. "Otherwise, I would be really, really nervous about him going without escorts."

Earlier this year, Colbath overturned Goodman's conviction and 16-year prison sentence and ordered a new trial after he found evidence of juror misconduct.

Defense attorneys have said they would file a change of venue motion to move the trial away from Palm Beach County.

Colbath was expected to issue a ruling on the motion later this year.

The earliest defense attorneys would be prepared for a new trial is January, they said.

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