Billionaire heading to trial for fatal DUI crash
PALM BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- It's time for trial for a Palm Beach County billionaire charged with drunk driving in a crash that killed a 23-year-old man.
The tragedy happened more than two years ago, and while the defendant has pleaded not guilty, he has been doing some controversial things to cover his assets. The spotlight intensified on billionaire John Goodman after news got out that he had adopted his 42-year-old girlfriend.
The move was designed to protect his assets from the family of a young man he is accused of killing in a drunk driving accident. Now Goodman is standing trial for that crime.
Legal Analyst Michelle Suskauer said, "It's going to be challenging to seat a jury in this case but certainly not impossible."
As many as 80 prospective jurors will face intense questioning in the search for a panel that will ultimately decide Goodman's fate. "From the defense point of view," Suskauer said, "certainly, you want to make sure, especially in a high profile matter like this, that you're not going to get anyone on this jury who has prejudged Mr. Goodman, someone that has already made a decision before they've actually heard any evidence, made a decision based on anything else."
The jury should expect to hear from nearly two dozen witnesses. They will see the actual cars involved in the crash, and attorneys will spend much of the trial painting very different pictures about what happened in the crash. "It's hard to not have emotion in a case like this," Suskauer said, "but the jurors are not supposed to make a decision one way or another because of emotion."
If convicted of driving drunk and leaving the scene of the crash, Goodman faces up to 30 years in prison.
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