05/20/2010 // West Palm Beach, Florida, USA // Sandra Quinlan // Sandra Quinlan

West Palm Beach, FL—John Goodman, founder of the Palm Beach International Polo Club, may face 30 years in prison if convicted of the charges pending against him. The charges stem from a fatal February motor vehicle accident. The initial lack of an arrest in connection with the deadly Wellington crash also prompted extensive public scrutiny over “class and privilege,” according to the Palm Beach Post.

Goodman faces charges including DUI manslaughter with failure to render aid and vehicular homicide with failure to render aid. He was arrested on Tuesday, May 18, 2010, with a $100,000 bond set Wednesday. Goodman posted bail and was released from jail at 2:30 p.m., just hours after his first court appearance.

Though the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office requested Goodman be placed on house arrest, his attorney successfully argued otherwise.

Pending Goodman’s trial, he will be prohibited from consuming any alcoholic beverages, driving or visiting any bars. He will also be required to check in with court supervisors twice a week. Random drug and alcohol tests will reportedly be administered three times a month.

Previous coverage by Justice News Flash indicated Goodman failed to stop at a stop sign. As a result, Goodman’s Bentley GTC collided with 23-year-old Scott Wilson’s Hyundai Sonata on February 12. On impact, Wilson’s vehicle was sent careening into a canal.

Police reports stated Goodman fled the accident scene on foot, as Wilson was left to drown in the canal. Goodman reportedly ran to a nearby home, whose owner was identified as Lisa Pembleton.

He asked to use her cell phone and subsequently called his girlfriend. “After he got off the phone he sat on my couch and asked me, ‘What should I do now?’… And I told him he should call 911. He was very hesitant as he did not want to get into trouble, but after some encouragement he called and I walked with him down the driveway to meet the officers,” Pembleton reported in an online blog.

By the time Goodman notified police of the motor vehicle collision (MVC), 55 minutes had passed. Noticing that Goodman’s eyes were bloodshot and his breath carried the intense scent of liquor, police administered a blood alcohol test. The test revealed his blood alcohol content (BAC) at 0.177 percent. His BAC was considered more than double the limit in which drivers are considered legally impaired.

The case continues.

Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan- Legal News for Florida Criminal Attorneys.

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