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Entries in Referee (9)

Wednesday
Oct102012

Tennis Ref's Daughter Calls Affair Accusations 'Completely Made Up'

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The family of Lois Goodman, the U.S. Open tennis referee charged with killing her husband with a coffee cup, has denied that she was having an affair at the time of his death, calling the accusation "completely made up."

After Goodman passed a polygraph test organized by her attorneys and administered by retired FBI agent Jack Trimarco, her daughter told ABC News that accusations made by investigators that Goldman was having an affair are false.

"There was no affair.  It was completely made up," her daughter, Allison Goodman Rogers, said.

Goodman's attorney, Alison Triessl, told ABC News that she was not asked about an affair during the polygraph because it was a "non-essential" question.

"The question was whether or not she murdered her husband, and the answer was no," Triessl said.

Goodman, 70, was arrested in New York City days before the U.S. Open in August, still wearing her referee uniform.  The lawyers and family of the grandmother and esteemed line judge, who has overseen matches between some of the most famous tennis players in the world, have since launched an aggressive legal and public relations campaign to clear her name.

Goodman called police on April 17 and told officers she arrived home and found her husband, Alan Frederick Goodman, 80, dead at the bottom of the stairs, said Lt. David Storaker, the chief of detectives at the LAPD's Topanga station.

"She surmised that he must have had a heart attack and fallen down the stairs," Storaker told ABC News earlier this year.

Officers concluded that there was no sign of forced entry, and Goodman's statements seemed suspicious, so they investigated further, Storaker said.

The Los Angeles Country Coroner ruled on Aug. 2 that the man's death was a homicide.  The cause of death was multiple injuries to the head, Storaker said.  He was killed with a coffee cup, according to the arrest warrant.

Goodman is now out on bail, confined to her home.  Her daughter says that she is still in shock.

"They've been depicting my mom as this cold-blooded person, and it couldn't be further from the truth," she said.  "She has a huge heart, and everything that's been in the press has been very negative.  It's not her."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep252012

Anger Grows over NFL Replacement Refs After Seahawks-Packers Game

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images(SEATTLE) -- Football fans have had enough and are demanding that the NFL bring back its regular referees, who were locked out before the season started because of a contract dispute.

The last straw may have come Monday night on what was technically the second-to-last-play of the Seattle Seahawks-Green Bay Packers game when the much maligned replacement referees allegedly blew the call in the end zone.

With Seattle down 12-7 and almost no ticks left on the clock in the fourth quarter, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson heaved a Hail Mary pass as receiver Golden Tate was surrounded by a mob of Packers.

As the ball came down, Green Bay's M.D. Jennings jumped up and grabbed the interception.  Or so everyone thought.

Tate fell down with Jennings, grasping for the ball that the Green Bay safety had cradled in his arms.

The refs ran over and ruled a completion for Seattle, giving them a 13-12 lead.  After 10 minutes, in which a replay inexplicably vouched for the refs' bizarre call, enough Packers returned to the field so that the Seahawks could kick the extra point, sending the hometown fans home happy but angering just about everyone else.

After three weeks, the consensus is nearly unanimous that the replacement referees have done a terrible job and the NFL needs to negotiate in good faith with regular crews to get them back on the field for the next full slate of games this Sunday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep042012

Daughter of US Open Ref Says Her Mother Is Innocent

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The daughter of the U.S. Open tennis referee accused of bludgeoning her husband to death says her mother is innocent and the charges against her are "completely ridiculous."

Lois Goodman, 70, a veteran line judge, was charged with first-degree murder after, police say, she hit her husband, Alan Goodman, of 50 years in their Los Angeles home on April 17 with a coffee mug and stabbed him with the broken shards.

"I have never seen them fight," Allison Rogers, Goodman's daughter, said.  "They were a wonderful loving couple.  They were happily married.  And we were a happy family.  This is just completely ridiculous."

Rogers says the past few weeks have been a living nightmare for her mother, who was released on $500,000 bail Sunday and placed under house arrest after spending nearly two weeks in jail.

"When I visited her and saw her for the first time, she was just like, 'Why?  I did everything they asked.  I told them what I know.  Why am I here?" Rogers said.

Goodman's attorney, Robert Sheahen, blamed the police for botching the investigation from the start.

"Mrs. Goodman wasn't there, she doesn't know what happened and if the police had done a good job at the beginning, we might know what happened," Sheahen said.  "But instead they botched the investigation from start to finish."

Goodman called police on April 17 and told officers she arrived home and found her 80-year-old husband dead.  Goodman says 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 ABC News in August.

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 made seemed suspicious, so they investigated further, Storaker said.  The cause of death was multiple injuries to the head, he said.

Goodman was officiating qualifying matches for the U.S. Open in New York City when she was arrested on Aug. 21 and extradited back to Los Angeles on murder charges.

"My mother would never do something like this, ever.  Not in a million years.  She's completely innocent," Rodgers said.

The next court hearing for Goodman is scheduled for Oct. 3. Until then, Rogers says her mother is trying to move on and focus on the sport she loves.

"Tennis was her life," she said.  "Even in our conversation ...she was discussing with me on how she was planning on working from home, organizing the officials for the different matches."

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

Wednesday
Aug292012

Lawyers: 'Physically Impossible' for US Open Ref to Have Killed Husband

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Attorneys for the veteran line judge who would be working at the U.S. Open were she not sitting in an L.A. County jail after being accused of bludgeoning her husband to death, claim that it's "physically impossible" for the 70-year-old to have committed the crime.

Lois Goodman should be on court in New York City this week, keeping the greatest tennis players on the planet in line.  She was arrested in New York on Aug. 21, the eve of the Open, and charged with first-degree murder.  Police say that she bludgeoned her husband of 50 years to death at their Los Angeles home with a coffee mug and stabbed him with the broken shards.

"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.

Goodman called police on April 17 and told officers she arrived home and found her husband, Alan Goodman, 80, dead in their bed.  She 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 ABC News 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 Lois 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.  

Court documents obtained by ABC News show that the 70-year-old referee sent emails to another man, messages that reportedly mentioned "terminating a relationship."

The documents, including a police detective's affidavit, also allege that the emails that Lois Goodman sent to the man talked about having "alternative sleeping arrangements," according to the Los Angeles Times.

Triessl says that the allegations of a relationship outside of her client's marriage are untrue.

"That is preposterous!  Absolutely insane, did not happen.  Absolutely not," she said.

Her lawyers argue that Goodman, who once sparred on court with John McEnroe, is just a frail old lady.

"I mean, you'd have to have Herculean strength to kill with a coffee cup, wouldn't you?" Attorney Robert Sheahen said.

Sheahen also maintains that Goodman's job as a 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."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug242012

US Open Referee Charged with Killing Husband to Face Murder Charge

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- New court documents obtained by ABC News say that the 70-year-old tennis referee accused of killing her husband with a coffee cup sent emails to another man, messages that reportedly mentioned "terminating a relationship."

The documents, including a police detective's affidavit, also allege that the emails that Lois Goodman sent to the man on the Internet talked about having "alternative sleeping arrangements," according to the Los Angeles Times.

Goodman was escorted by Los Angeles Police Department detectives on Thursday from a Manhattan court still wearing her navy-blue uniform warm-up suit for the U.S. Open, which she was set to officiate.  She was arrested in New York City on Aug. 21.

"She's anxious to defend herself," said her lawyer in New York, Guy Oksenhendler.  "My concern is that their actions may prejudice her defense in California."

Oksenhendler says Goodman, who's now in Los Angeles, is innocent and the arrest is an attempt to grab headlines before the U.S. Open.

"My understanding is that this was front page coverage not only here in New York but out in California," he said.

Goodman called police on April 17 and told officers she arrived home and found her husband, Alan Goodman, 80, dead at the bottom of the stairs, said Lt. David Storaker, the chief of detectives at the LAPD's Topanga station.

"She surmised that he must have had a heart attack and fallen down the stairs," Storaker told ABC News earlier this week.

Officers concluded that there was no sign of forced entry, and the statements Goodman was making seemed suspicious, so they investigated further, Storaker said.

On Aug. 2, the Los Angeles County Coroner ruled the man's death a homicide.

The cause of death was multiple injuries to the head, Storaker said.  According to the arrest warrant, he was killed with a coffee cup.

Although LAPD detectives said they think they know the motive, Storaker said they weren't sharing it because it will affect the case.

"We're trying to retrace the steps of both Goodmans that day to see if there was any strain in their relationship or arguments occurred," he said.  "We don't want to taint any other memories."

If convicted, Goodman could face life in state prison, according to the L.A County District Attorney's office.  Prosecutors recommended bail be set at $1 million.

Representatives of the U.S. Open, which starts Monday, said they did not have information on Goodman's history with the tournament.  They said she is an independent contractor, who was officiating qualifying matches.

Goodman is expected to appear in court Monday, according to ABC News affiliate KABC-TV in Los Angeles.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug212012

US Open Referee Charged with Killing Husband with Coffee Cup

Comstock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- A 70-year-old tennis referee was arrested Tuesday, charged with murdering her husband with a coffee cup last April in Los Angeles.

Lois Ann Goodman was in New York City this week to officiate at the U.S. Open when Los Angeles Police Department homicide detectives made the arrest, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. The arrest follows an investigation that lasted several months.

Goodman called police on April 17 and told officers she arrived home and found her 80-year-old husband, Alan, dead at the bottom of the stairs, said Lt. David Storaker, the chief of detectives at the LAPD's Topanga station.

"She surmised that he must have had a heart attack and fallen down the stairs," Storaker told ABC News.

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Officers concluded that there was no sign of forced entry, and the statements Goodman was making seemed suspicious, so they investigated further, Storaker said.

On Aug. 2, the Los Angeles Country Coroner ruled Alan's death a homicide.

The cause of death was multiple injuries to the head, Storaker said. According to the arrest warrant, the murder weapon was a coffee cup.

Although LAPD detectives said they think they know the motive, Storaker said they weren't sharing it because it will affect the case.

"We're trying to retrace the steps of both Goodmans that day to see if there was any strain in their relationship or arguments occurred," he said. "We don't want to taint any other memories."

If convicted, Goodman could face life in state prison, according to the L.A. County District Attorney's office. Prosecutors recommended bail at $1 million.

Representatives of the U.S. Open said they did not have information on Goodman's history with the tournament. They said she is an independent contractor.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug102012

Shannon Eastin Throws Five Flags as First Female NFL Ref

Seattle Seahawks(SAN DIEGO) -- With her hair tucked under her black cap, Shannon Eastin made history Thursday night as the first woman to referee a National Football League game.

Before taking her place as a line judge for the pre-season game between the San Diego Chargers and Green Bay Packers, she acknowledged at news conference Tuesday afternoon that she was a bit of a pioneer.

“I would say probably most of the way, to some degree, yes. Even in my previous experience in judo, I did a lot of things that were first there,” Eastin said.

Eastin threw five flags Thursday night, according to The Los Angeles Times, including a “significant fourth-quarter call that replays justified, flagging San Diego cornerback Greg Gatson for pass interference because he ran into Green Bay receiver Dale Moss.”

She also intervened to calm a post-play confrontation between Gatson and three Packers, the Times reported.

Eastin’s hat and whistle will be taken to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, to commemorate the milestone.

Eastin got her chance in part because the league’s regular officials are locked out in a labor dispute. It’s unclear whether she will be able to stick in the NFL after a new deal is signed.

Eastin is no rookie to the game. She enters her 17th season as a football official. She spent the past four seasons refereeing college football in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, which fields 13 teams competing in the Football Championship Subdivision, formerly known as Division 1-AA.

“For me, this is my dream coming true,” said Eastin, director of officials for the Arizona Charter Athletic Association and owner of SE Sports Officiating. “I’m honored the NFL has chosen to place me in this position. I feel blessed and excited.”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug082012

Shannon Eastin to Become First Female NFL Referee

The Seattle Seahawks(NEW YORK) -- Shannon Eastin is making history this week as the first woman to referee a National Football League game and she acknowledges that she is a bit of a pioneer.

“I would say probably most of the way, to some degree, yes. Even in my previous experience in judo, I did a lot of things that were first there,” Eastin said in a news conference Tuesday.

Eastin, 42, will serve as the line judge in Thursday’s pre-season game between the San Diego Chargers and the Green Bay Packers.

“I’m excited. Every step is hope that I can continue to show it really doesn’t matter male or female, as long as you work hard,” Eastin said.

She is getting her chance in part because the league’s regular officials are locked out in a labor dispute. It’s not clear whether she would be able to stick in the NFL once a new deal is signed.

“I’m going to continue doing what I’ve been doing and work with the NFL as long as they need me. Should that change, pursue going back to college or you never know,” she said.

Eastin is no rookie to the game. She enters her 17th season as a football official. She spent the last four seasons refereeing college football in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), which fields 13 teams competing in the Football Championship Subdivision, formerly known as Division 1-AA.

“For me this is my dream coming true. I’m honored the NFL has chosen to place me in this position. I feel blessed and excited. I’m a little nervous in anticipation,” Easton said.

This isn’t the first time Easton has been in the spotlight.  She is a world-class judo athlete, earning six national judo championships. At age 11, she was the youngest judo athlete to ever be accepted to train at the United States Olympic Training Center.

Despite all the publicity she’s receiving for her major accomplishment as the first female NFL referee, she remains humble about the entire situation.

“I can’t believe it. I get a little teary-eyed. I just want to do a good job. I just want to be unnoticed out there, even though I know everyone’s watching,” Eastin said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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