Murder case against ref dismissed due to insufficient evidence

by: Matt Cronin November 30, 2012

The murder case against pro tennis umpire Lois Goodman has been dismissed due to insufficient evidence, the AP reports.

Longtime umpire Goodman, 70, was arrested in August in New York just before she was to officiate at the U.S. Open on charges that she killed her 80-year-old husband, Alan Goodman. However, investigators were unable to find a DNA link between Lois Goodman and the coffee mug police say she used to kill her husband at their home in Los Angeles on April 17.

Police first ruled that the death was accidental. Goodman had said that when she arrived at her L.A. home in early April and found her husband dead at the bottom of the stairs, that she thought he must have had a heart attack and fallen down. But prosecutors and police came to believe that she mislead them, claiming it was a homicide as her husband was to have sustained multiple sharp-force injuries. She was then arrested while having breakfast at the officials’ hotel in New York.

Reports surfaced that Goodman was communicating with another man around the time of the slaying and was possibly having an affair, but her family vehemently denied the accusation. Goodman then passed a polygraph test administered by a retired FBI agent and arranged by her attorney, but the results of polygraph tests aren’t admissible in California courts, where she was being tried.

The district attorney’s case against Goodman appeared to weaken early in November when the DNA on the coffee cup came back solely to the husband.

“That supports our theory that the husband was holding the cup and then he fell on the cup, and that accounts for the shattered pieces of the cup being embedded in the right side of his head,” said Goodman’s attorney, Robert Sheahen.

Goodman was being held under house arrest in Los Angeles. It is unclear whether she will attempt to return to umpiring.

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