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Tennis umpire’s attorney says authorities created ‘media circus’

August 24, 2012 |  3:52 pm

A professional tennis umpire accused of bludgeoning her 80-year-old husband to death with a coffee mug appeared in court Friday, but her arraignment was postponed.

Lois Ann Goodman of Woodland Hills arrived at Los Angeles International Airport on Thursday evening, two days after she was arrested in New York City, where she was preparing to serve as a referee for the U.S. Open.

Goodman is accused in the April 17 slaying of her husband, Alan Frederick Goodman, 80, at their home in the 20000 block of Oxnard Street.

At the court hearing, Goodman's attorney called the allegations outrageous and accused authorities of creating a "media circus."

Her arraignment has been postponed until Wednesday.

Police who were called to the couple's home in April found a blood trail leading to his body and severe wounds on Alan Goodman's head. But officers accepted a theory advanced by his wife that he had fallen down the stairs before crawling into his bed.

"Some of the evidence matched her story," Los Angeles Police Lt. David Storacker said.

She told officers that she had been at Pierce College for six hours when she returned home and "observed a broken coffee mug on the floor which was covered in blood," according to an affidavit signed by an LAPD detective.

"She discovered her husband lying in bed. He was covered in blood and did not appear to be breathing," Det. Jeffrey Briscoe wrote.

Two paramedics pronounced Alan Goodman dead and told their police counterparts about an "oddly shaped cut to the right side of the head," Briscoe wrote. "Firefighters advised officers that scene appeared suspicious and left the body undisturbed."

But after learning of the octogenarian's various medical maladies and consulting with the coroner's office, police determined that there was no crime and allowed Lois Goodman to transfer his body to a mortuary without an autopsy. It was at Heritage Crematory on April 20 that a coroner's investigator, sent to sign the death certificate, noted the multiple cuts on Alan Goodman's head and ears.

The "deep penetrating blunt force trauma ... was consistent with being impacted with a sharp object," Briscoe wrote.

His observations launched a homicide investigation. An autopsy revealed shards of the coffee cup in the wounds. A search warrant executed April 21 turned up blood throughout the home "inconsistent with accidental death," Briscoe wrote. Stains on carpets, the refrigerator door, inside a linen closet and on the wall leading to the garage suggested "a mobile victim," police said.


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-- Richard Winton and KTLA News