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Tennis umpire pleads not guilty to killing husband with coffee mug

August 29, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The 70-year-old tennis umpire accused of bludgeoning her husband to death with a coffee mug pleaded not guilty on Wednesday.

Family and friends filled the courtroom to support Lois Goodman, who is facing charges of killing her 80-year-old husband, Alan Goodman, at their Woodland Hills home in April.

Prosecutors revealed in court that they have evidence of premeditation. There were at least two pools of blood in separate locations in the home, prosecutors said, and after the attack, Goodman left to officiate a match and get her nails done.

"At this point, we know that she committed a very violent and heinous crime to someone that was very close to her, her lifelong partner, and in our opinion, anybody who is capable of committing that type of violent crime is a danger to the community," said prosecutor Lisa Tanner.

The defense presented numerous letters all vouching for Goodman's character, which may have helped sway the judge to lower the bail amount from $1 million to $500,000. If she posts bail, she will be released to home confinement and subject to electronic monitoring.

Superior Court Commissioner Mitchell Block cited Goodman's lack of a criminal record and her strong ties to the community as reasons for reducing her bail. But Block said he felt the seriousness of the charges prevented him from granting the defense's request to lower bail to $100,000.

Goodman's defense team argued that Goodman was physically incapable of committing the crime, pointing out that her client has had two knee replacements, a shoulder replacement and suffers from arthritis and spinal pain.

"This woman has never done anything violent in her life. She's not about to start at age 70," said defense attorney Robert Sheahen. "Everybody who knows the couple knows how happy they were. The charges are just absolute and total nonsense."

Neither side is revealing a motive, but a search warrant hints that Goodman may have been seeing another man. Detectives found a printed email that discussed making alternative sleeping arrangements.

Meantime, Goodman's defense is blaming the LAPD for not investigating the death as murder until days after the body had been removed from the crime scene.

"The only DNA evidence of another killer is trampled right now under the footprint of an LAPD officer who didn't maintain the scene," Sheahen said.

Goodman may be released on bail in a week.


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