Possible defense strategy revealed in Goodman case
By Rachel Leigh| March 9, 2012 at 3:41 PM EST - Updated June 26 at 5:28 PM
WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - After three days of questioning, a six-member jury was seated in the DUI manslaughter trial of Wellington polo mogul John Goodman.
The jurors consist of five men and one woman, plus two alternates who are both women. Among them is a former teacher, an electrician and a construction supervisor.
In the third and final day of jury selection, questions from Goodman's attorney Roy Black may have offered clues about the defense strategy.
"Does anyone believe that a car could not malfunction while driving it?," he asked the group of potential jurors that remained on Thursday afternoon. "Is anybody in the first row familiar with the concept of sudden acceleration?" he asked.
One potential defense argument may be that Goodman's Bentley could have malfunctioned just before the crash that killed 23-year-old Scott Wilson in February 2010.
Prosecutors said Goodman was driving with a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit at the time of the crash.
"Has anybody ever had experience or have heard of anyone who would drink alcohol to relieve pain?" asked Black.
Another possible defense argument -- Goodman may have suffered a concussion or brain injury in the crash and then drank alcohol to alleviate his pain.
"Are you familiar at all with people having amnesia, either temporary or permanent?" he asked. "Roy Black was speaking in specifics, giving us an idea as to where this case may go," said Michelle Suskauer, NewsChannel 5 legal analyst.
Prosecutors, too, were hoping their battery of questions helped shape an impartial jury. "Do you have any feelings in terms of the way the police investigation was done? Good, or bad?" asked Prosecutor Sherri Collins.
Opening statements and testimony begin on Tuesday. There will be no court Friday or Monday because the judge has scheduling conflicts.
If found guilty by the six-member jury, Goodman could spend up to 30 years in prison. The judge expects the trial to last at least through Tuesday of the following week.