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USTA tells tennis umpire Lois Goodman she can have job back

Attorney Alison Triessl and Lois Goodman, a tennis umpire accused of fatally bludgeoning her 80 year old husbandin Woodland Hills, after all charges were dropped in a preliminary hearing at the Van Nuys Courthouse on Nov. 30. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Tennis umpire Lois "Lolo" Goodman was reinstated as a professional referee Friday in the wake of a decision by prosecutors to drop charges that she bludgeoned her husband to death, her attorney said Friday.

Goodman, a fixture on the U.S. Tennis Assn. circuit for a couple decades, had been sidelined since October following her arrest in New York on suspicion of killing her husband, Alan Goodman. 

Last month, prosecutors decided to drop a murder charge against Lois Goodman without revealing their reasons. The move was made before her defense attorneys submitted a pathology report disputing coroner's findings that her husband was deliberately killed and citing a heart attack as the cause of his death.

"This is a wonderful holiday gift for Lolo and her family," said one of her attorneys, Kelly Gerner. "Lolo thanks the USTA for their prompt action and she wishes a happy holiday to her many friends and supporters."

Goodman's arrest in August made international headlines when police apprehended her in New York as she was on her way to referee qualifying matches for the U.S. Open.

Her lawyers said the USTA informed her Friday morning that they were lifting her suspension.

Although prosecutors have dropped the charges, Ed Winter, deputy chief of coroner's investigations, said Alan Goodman's April 17 death remains listed as a homicide and it remains an open police case.

Goodman, 70, 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, a coffee cup. She also passed a defense-arranged polygraph test conducted by a former FBI examiner, according to her lawyers.

On the day the case was dismissed, Goodman said: "I feel wonderful!"

"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."


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-- Richard Winton

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Photo: Attorney Alison Triessl and Lois Goodman, a tennis umpire who was accused of fatally bludgeoning her husband in Woodland Hills, after all charges were dropped in a preliminary hearing at the Van Nuys Courthouse on Nov. 30. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

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