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Tennis umpire in 'coffee cup' murder appears in court

Professional tennis lines umpire Lois Goodman, 70, appears in a New York City courthouse on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012. (The New York Daily News)
August 24, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A prominent tennis umpire, accused of killing her husband with a coffee cup, appeared in court Friday, where her arraignment and bond hearing were continued to next Wednesday.

Lois Goodman, 70, is being held in a Van Nuys jail after being extradited from New York on Thursday night.

"She was wearing her judging jacket for the U.S. Open," said Ben Sands, who was on the same flight as Goodman. "That was the crazy thing. She was still in her same clothes that she got arrested in."

Police say Goodman was cooperative on the flight.

Goodman was in New York for the U.S. Open. She was working as a line judge, something she has been doing for decades.

"These charges are outrageous and they're completely unfounded," her attorney, Alison Triessl, said in court Friday. "The Los Angeles Police Department should be ashamed of arresting a 70-year-old woman in New York who has made herself available to investigators in Los Angeles."

Los Angeles police have said Goodman was poised to be in New York for several weeks and they wanted to move swiftly to arrest a murder suspect.

The L.A. County Coroner determined her husband, Alan Goodman, had been bludgeoned to death on April 17 with a coffee cup that broke; Lois Goodman then allegedly used the sharp handle to stab him. The coffee mug was found at the couple's Woodland Hills condominium.

Authorities briefly accepted Lois Goodman's explanation that she returned home to find a blood-covered coffee mug and her husband lying in bed not breathing after most likely falling down the stairs.

A coroner's investigator who was sent to a mortuary to sign the death certificate set off a homicide investigation when he saw cuts around the man's head and ears, police records show. An autopsy later found bits of the coffee cup in the cuts.

When police executed a subsequent search warrant, they found blood throughout the house "inconsistent with accidental death."

Detectives did not suggest a motive. Court documents show that Lois Goodman had been communicating with another man on the Internet around the time of her husband's death, and some of the messages hinted at a romantic relationship.

Goodman is due back in court on Wednesday. She was held on $1 million bond, but her attorneys are trying to have the amount reduced.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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