Tennis umpire Lois Goodman kisses attorney after murder case tossed
A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge Friday dismissed the murder case against professional tennis umpire Lois Goodman, who had been accused of killing her 80-year-old husband.
A prosecutor told Judge Jessica Silvers the Los Angeles County district attorney's office was "unable to proceed" at this time. The case was dismissed without prejudice, but no other details were provided.
After the hearing, Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the D.A.'s office, said the case remains an ongoing police and district attorney's investigation and declined further comment that might compromise that work.
It is unclear if or when prosecutors might refile charges. 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.
After the judge agreed to dismiss the case, Goodman turned and kissed one of her defense attorneys, Alison Triessl.
Another of her attorneys, Robert Sheahen, thanked prosecutors for fulfilling their "moral and legal" obligation.
Goodman, 70, had pleaded not guilty to attacking her husband. She said she found him dead on April 17 at their Woodland Hills home. She told authorities 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.
Defense attorneys have been critical of the investigation -- or lack of one. No coroner's investigator or homicide detective visited the Woodland Hills home before the body was released to the mortuary.
It wasn't until three days later, on the eve of Alan Goodman's cremation, that a coroner's investigator, sent to the mortuary to sign the death certificate, noted "deep penetrating blunt force trauma" on his head and ears. Those observations launched the homicide investigation.
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-- Andrew Khouri in Van Nuys and Andrew Blankstein in Los Angeles
Photo: Lois Goodman, right, and attorney Alison Triessl smile Friday as a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge dismisses the murder case against Goodman. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times