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Entries in Line Judge (2)

Monday
Dec032012

Tennis Line Judge's Murder Case 'Got Out of Hand,' Attorney Says

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The attorney for the U.S. Open line judge accused of killing her husband with a broken coffee mug complimented Los Angeles prosecutors for standing up to police and getting the case -- which he says "got out of hand" -- tossed out.

A judge Friday dismissed the case against Lois Goodman, 70, and exonerated her bond.  Alan Goodman, 80, died in April at his California home.

The line judge said she found her husband dead in bed, saying she believed he had crawled there to rest after a terrible fall.  She said she was pleased when she learned on Friday that her case had been thrown out for lack of evidence.

"I was so happy.  Elated.  I can't tell you," Lois told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America Monday.  "It came earlier than I thought it would, but I always knew, somehow, justice would be served, and my name would be cleared."

Lois has always maintained her innocence, even passing a lie-detector test.  She said her husband suffered a heart attack, and then fell down the stairs.  

Her attorney Robert Sheahen told GMA that prosecutors had a "moral and ethical obligation" to dismiss the case against Goodman, and saw it through.

"The prosecutors did a great thing here," he said.  "DAs don't stand up to the police department.  They don't dismiss these cases.  For these prosecutors to dismiss this case, they did a good thing."

"They dismissed it; more power to them.  I give them all of the professional credit in the world.  It got out of hand.  The prosecutors corrected it," Sheahen said.

Lois was arrested in August, days before the U.S. Open began, while wearing her referee uniform.  Police alleged she bludgeoned her husband to death with a coffee mug in their Los Angeles home, and then stabbed him with the broken pieces.  

The grandmother said that since she was arrested shortly after her husband's death, she has had no time to grieve.

"I wasn't there.  Poor thing … I beat myself up all the time.  If I had been at home, I could have helped him.  But I wasn't.  It's just hard for me to realize that he's gone, I miss him," she said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug292012

US Open Ref Pleads Not Guilty to Murder Charge

Comstock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- The U.S. Open line judge accused of bludgeoning her husband to death pled not guilty to the crime Wednesday in a Los Angeles courtroom.

Lois Goodman made her first appearance in court Wednesday morning dressed in an orange court-issued jumpsuit instead of the official U.S. Open uniform she was arrested in last week in New York City on the eve of the tournament.

Goodman, 70, a veteran line judge, was charged with first-degree murder after police say that she bludgeoned to death her husband of 50 years in their Los Angeles home with a coffee mug and stabbed him with the broken shards.

Lawyers for Goodman, who once elicited an apology from tennis great Andre Agassi after he challenged a call, claim she is too physically frail to have brutalized her husband.

"It is physically impossible for her to have committed this offense. She has had two full knee replacements, she has had a shoulder replacement. She wears two hearing aids, and has rheumatoid arthritis," said Alison Triessl, Goodman's attorney.

Another Goodman attorney, Robert Sheahen, told Good Morning America Wednesday morning, "I mean, you'd have to have Herculean strength to kill with a coffee cup, wouldn't you?"

Sheahen also maintains that Goodman's job as a U.S. Open line judge does not indicate the strength needed to bludgeon a man to death.

"To work at the U.S. Open you don't have to be able to swing a coffee cup," he said, adding that the delay before investigating the crime scene is an issue.

"If the police want to convict somebody of a homicide, they should investigate a homicide properly. They did not in this case," he said. "They botched the physical scene."

Goodman's defense team cited in court Wednesday her age and problems with her hearing aids that make her unable to hear sheriffs' demands in their request that the bail be lowered from $1 million, the standard amount for a murder charge, to $100,000, the amount for a manslaughter charge. They also said she has a spinal cord stimulator that makes it difficult for her to sleep.

The defense also said Goodman would lose her right to a fair trial were she not released because she would not be able to gather interviews and support from neighbors.

Prosecutors cited evidence that the murder was premeditated in arguing that Goodman is both a flight risk and a threat to society and that bail should stay at $1 million.

Despite those assertions by prosecutors that Goodman committed murder and showed no remorse, the court lowered the bail to $500,000, citing Goodman's lack of a criminal record and strong ties to the community. If she is able to post bail, Goodman will be released to home confinement with electronic monitoring and allowed to leave only for religious services and medical treatments.

Goodman's lawyers said they are "hopeful" their client will be able to return home. Goodman's two daughters told the court they are willing to put up their homes for the collateral on the bail.

Goodman called police April 17 and told officers she arrived home and found her husband, Alan Goodman, 80, dead. Goodman claims her husband suffered a heart attack, then had fallen in their home.

"She surmised that he must have had a heart attack and fallen down the stairs," Lt. David Storaker, the chief of detectives at the LAPD's Topanga station, told ABCNews.com last week.

But an autopsy revealed "deep, penetrating blunt force trauma that was consistent with being inflicted with a sharp object." Only then did authorities investigate the alleged murder scene.

Officers concluded that there was no sign of forced entry, and the statements Goodman was making seemed suspicious, so they investigated further, Storaker said. The cause of death was multiple injuries to the head, he said.

"We located that coffee mug in several pieces at the crime scene," Detective Dave Peteque with the LAPD said.

The next court hearing for Goodman is scheduled for Oct. 3.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio