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Ex-Wellington polo mogul John Goodman seeks new trial following DUI manslaughter conviction

Goodman currently serving 16-year prison sentence
John Goodman in shackles in court, Aug. 30, 2023
Posted at 12:06 PM, Aug 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-30 17:54:52-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — An imprisoned former Wellington polo mogul was back in a West Palm Beach courtroom Wednesday.

John Goodman, the founder of the Wellington Polo Club, is asking for a new trial for a second time, claiming he had poor legal counsel in a previous trial.

Judge Jeffrey Gillen presided over an evidentiary hearing as Goodman's defense teams seeks a new trial.

At least four witnesses are expected to take the stand.

One witness, a toxicology expert, testified Wednesday with a play-by-play of the night Goodman killed Scott Patrick Wilson, 23, in a February 2010 crash.

Trial evidence showed Goodman was driving drunk when he ran a stop sign and rammed his black Bentley into Wilson's car. Wilson died after his car rolled into a canal. Goodman then left the scene.

John Goodman in a West Palm Beach courtroom, Aug. 30, 2023
John Goodman sits in a West Palm Beach courtroom ahead of an evidentiary hearing on Aug. 30, 2023.

The polo mogul was convicted initially in 2012 of DUI manslaughter and again in 2014 after a retrial.

During Wednesday's hearing, a toxicology expert discussed the number of drinks Goodman apparently had that night and the events that followed.

Goodman previously claimed the state did not properly draw his blood to determine his blood-alcohol level at the time of a drunken-driving crash.

A second evidentiary hearing is scheduled for Thursday morning.

Goodman is currently serving a 16-year sentence.

In February 2018, the Florida Supreme Court denied Goodman's appeal to overturn his sentence.

Judge Jeffrey Colbath in 2019 denied a motion by Goodman's legal team to lower his sentence from 16 to 11 1/2 years.