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Polo mogul who adopted girlfriend guilty in fatal South Florida DUI crash

WEST PALM BEACH — A South Florida polo mogul was convicted Friday in a fatal drunken-driving crash.

A Palm Beach County jury found 48-year-old John Goodman guilty of DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide.

Goodman was initially charged two years ago in the death of 23-year-old Scott Wilson. His case gained broad notoriety after he adopted his 42-year-old girlfriend in an apparent bid to protect his wealth from lawsuits resulting from the case

Police say a drunken Goodman ran a stop sign and rammed his black Bentley into Wilson's car, causing it to roll into a canal, where the young man died. Authorities say Goodman left the scene and waited nearly an hour to call 911.

After the crash, Goodman's blood alcohol level was measured at 0.177 percent, more than twice the legal driving limit.

"The jury in the Goodman case exercised sound judgment in its analysis of the factual and expert evidence in this trial," State Attorney Peter Antonacci said in a news release. "Scott Wilson was a young man with a bright future, and his life was tragically cut short. I hope that Scott's family now experiences some closure so that the healing process can go forward in this particularly tragic event."

Goodman's attorney, Roy Black, said he plans to appeal the verdict.

"It is our belief that multiple errors were committed during and before the trial that, in effect, denied our client's ability to get a fair trial," Black said in an email. "We intend to file an appeal so that our client can receive the just and fair proceeding to which he is entitled by law."

Goodman faces up to 30 years in prison at his April 30 sentencing.

He is founder and owner of the International Polo Club in Palm Beach.

Polo mogul who adopted girlfriend guilty in fatal South Florida DUI crash 03/23/12 [Last modified: Friday, March 23, 2012 9:33pm]
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