Tennis umpire accused of killing husband passes lie detector test
Tennis umpire Lois Goodman, charged with bludgeoning her 80-year-old husband to death last April with a coffee mug, has passed a lie detector test administered by a former FBI examiner in which she denied killing her husband, her attorneys said.
Goodman's lawyers told The Times late Monday that the polygraph results, which cannot be used in criminal court, would be turned over to prosecutors in hopes they will drop murder charges against the 70-year-old tennis umpire accused of killing her husband, Alan Goodman.
"Lois Goodman has passed a polygraph test to clear herself in her husband's death," said Robert Sheahen, one of her attorneys.
Shearen said the examination was conducted by former FBI polygraph examiner Jack Trimarco during the first week of October at the behest of her lawyers.
During the examination, Goodman denied killing her husband or having any involvement in his death, Shearen said. Trimarco found “no deception” on Goodman's part, Shearen said.
"The results of the polygraph test prove what we have said all along -- Lois Goodman is innocent," said Alison Triessl, an attorney for Goodman. "She did not kill her husband -- he died from a freak accident."
Trimarco's analysis was supported by Ron Homer, also an FBI-trained polygraph expert, Shearen said. Trimarco conducted an examinaton in 2011 on Giovanni Ramirez, who was charged and later cleared in the Dodger Stadium assault on Giants fan Bryan Stow.
Authorities only began to investigate the death as a homicide a few days later, when a coroner's investigator at the funeral home noticed a deep wound in Alan Goodman's head. An autopsy revealed shards of pottery in the wound. They argue that Goodman wielded the broken coffee cup like a knife.
A search warrant executed April 21 turned up blood throughout the home "inconsistent with accidental death," Det. Jeffrey Briscoe wrote. Stains on carpets, the refrigerator door, inside a linen closet and on the wall leading to the garage suggested "a mobile victim" who, police theorized, would have called for help.
Prosecutors say Goodman allegedly killed her husband then went to a tennis match and had a manicure as he bled to death in the bed.
Goodman's attorneys insist the investigation was "botched from start to finish."
“It was never clear to the police what happened in this case,” Sheahen said. “At first, they ruled it was an accident, but then switched over to a homicide theory.
“The LAPD asked Mrs. Goodman to take a lie-detector test to ‘clear herself,’" Sheahan continued. " Now that she’s passed with flying colors, we ask the D.A. to reassess its position in this case.“
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-- Richard Winton
Photo: Lois Goodman with her attorney, Alison Triessl, at her arraignment. Credit: Nick Ut / Associated Press