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Tennis Umpire Cleared of Murder Charges, Gets Job Back

The murder charge against U.S. Open tennis referee Lois Goodman, 70, was recently dismissed due to insufficient evidence. Goodman was arrested in her referee uniform last August just days before the US Open. Police said she had bludgeoned her husband to death with a coffee mug in her Los Angeles home then stabbed him to death with the pieces. Goodman claimed her husband suffered a heart attack and then fell down the stairs.

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office dropped the case before Goodman lawyers presented a report by former New York pathologist Michael Baden that attributed Alan Goodman’s death to heart issues and not head injuries from an assault.

The D.A.’s office did not reveal why it sought to withdraw charges in the high-profile case after a month of claiming that Lois Goodman murdered her husband. They said the case remains open. However, the pathology report that disputed the coroner’s finding reveals the head wound portrayed as deadly was, in fact, superficial.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck defended his department’s handling of the investigation. He said investigators were “largely guided” by information obtained through the coroner’s office. “And some other information came up that contradicted some of that. So this is in the D.A.’s hands right now,” Beck said.

Goodman, said she found her husband dead at their Woodland Hills home. She told authorities that she came home and found a bloody trail up the stairs to their bedroom. She believed he had fallen, then made his way to bed. Responding officers believed her and the home was cleaned up.

But three days later, a coroner’s investigator visited the mortuary to sign the death certificate and reported he found ”deep penetrating blunt force trauma” on Alan Goodman’s head and ears. The observations launched a homicide investigation. In a search warrant, a detective described how investigators had found blood throughout the home.

Lois Goodman’s lawyers later revealed that the tennis umpire’s DNA wasn’t even found on the alleged murder weapon. She also passed a defense-arranged polygraph test conducted by a former FBI examiner, according to her lawyers.

The USTA reinstated Goodman as a professional referee in the wake of the decision by prosecutors to drop charges that she bludgeoned her husband to death.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, call Don Ho Law at 714-748-7715 to speak with an experienced and aggressive attorney who can help you fight the charges.

Published by Don HoLaw.  Don Ho is a criminal defense and employment law attorney in Orange County, California.

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