Polo mogul John Goodman was released from Palm Beach County Jail on Friday pending his appeal of a 16-year prison sentence following his DUI manslaughter conviction earlier this year. At trial, Goodman was accused of driving his Bentley while intoxicated, speeding, failing to stop at a stop sign, and colliding with a vehicle driven by 23-year-old Scott Wilson in 2010. As a result of the crash, Wilson’s Hyundai landed upside down in a nearby drainage canal. Goodman reportedly fled the scene of the car accident and failed to notify authorities about the crash for several hours. Meanwhile, Wilson drowned in his vehicle.
Goodman has been in custody at the jail since he was convicted in March. He was required to post a $7 million cash bond prior to being released. Goodman is also required to be within 100 feet of an off-duty deputy at any given time. Goodman must pay two off-duty officers approximately $1,000 per day while he is out on bond. One guard will apparently remain at his Wellington residence while the other will remain at his place of business, the International Polo Club Palm Beach. Prior to his release, Goodman agreed to a judge’s order that he stay away from the Wellington social scene and refrain from attending any polo matches, parties, or charity events. Further details regarding Goodman’s release from the county jail will reportedly be negotiated at a hearing scheduled to take place next week.
Goodman’s case made headlines last fall when he attempted to legally adopt his adult girlfriend, Heather Hutchins, while fighting a wrongful death lawsuit brought by Wilson’s parents. Although the adoption has not yet been legally recognized, Goodman will reportedly be taken back into custody if Hutchins attempts to access any of the money in his children’s $300 million trust fund.
Despite that Goodman posted a $7 million bond for his release, his attorney stated Goodman is now financially insolvent. He also said Goodman’s siblings actually posted the bond, which will be held by the County Clerk in a non-interest bearing account until it is either forfeited or returned. Goodman is reportedly appealing his DUI manslaughter conviction based on alleged juror misconduct as well as other grounds. If you tragically lost a loved one in an automobile crash with a drunk driver, you should contact a capable Florida wrongful death lawyer to discuss your case.