Tennis umpire Lois Goodman: 'I have always maintained my innocence'
Tennis umpire Lois Goodman thanked her friends and family for supporting her and said she is "thrilled" to get her life back after a judge agreed Friday to dismiss the murder case against her.
"I feel wonderful!" Goodman said, standing in the rain outside the courthouse, flanked by her attorneys.
"I want to thank my family and my attorneys, my friends. Their support has been wonderful. And I want to thank the D.A.'s office for doing the right thing. I have always maintained my innocence."
Her niece wiped away tears as the family exited the courtroom.
Prosecutor Alan Yochelson did not explain why the Los Angeles County district attorney's office asked the judge to dismiss the case, noting only that it was "unable to proceed." Sources, who did not want to be named because the investigation is ongoing, said experts retained by authorities said the evidence in the case could show that Alan Goodman's death was an accident.
Lois Goodman has maintained that she returned to the couple's Woodland Hills home and found her 80-year-old husband dead in bed and a bloody trail leading up the stairs to their bedroom. She told authorities she believed that he had taken a fatal fall.
Paramedics thought the scene was suspicious and left Alan Goodman's body undisturbed. But police later determined that evidence at the home supported her version of events. Alan Goodman's body was taken directly to the mortuary, without a coroner's investigator or homicide detectives visiting the home.
But three days later, a coroner's investigator visited the mortuary to sign the death certificate. He reported "deep penetrating blunt force trauma" on Alan Goodman's head and ears. Those observations launched the homicide investigation.
Defense attorney Alison Triessl declined to comment on the investigation.
"Today is not the day to assess any blame," she said. "It is an amazing day for justice and Miss Goodman. She has gone through hell with this case. She has always maintained her innocence. We have always believed that she did not do it, and we have fought every day."
At the end of the news conference, Robert Sheahen, another attorney on Goodman's defense team, joked: "We're going to Disneyland!"
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-- Andrew Khouri in Van Nuys
Photo: Lois Goodman, a tennis umpire accused of killing her 80-year-old husband, addresses the media with her attorney Robert Sheahen outside the Van Nuys courthouse after all charges were dropped. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times