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Houston Polo Magnate Ordered to Spend 16 Years in Prison for DUI Death

Photo of Randy Sorrels

John Goodman, a Houstonian who is well known in the upper-class, elite polo world, was sentenced to spend 16 years in prison for the February 12, 2010 death of 23 year old Scott Wilson. Sitting in a West Palm Beach, Florida courtroom, Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath ordered the socialite into a Florida prison for causing the death of Mr. Wilson while driving under the influence of alcohol and running his Bentley into Mr. Wilson's Hyundai - pushing it into a canal and drowning Wilson.

Goodman could have served 30 years for his conviction of DUI Manslaughter with Failure to Render Aid, while his defense team argued for the lowest possible sentence of 11 ½ years. The prosecution recommended a 20 year sentence. The court, splitting the difference between the prosecutor's recommendation and the defense request, did not give into the requests for leniency by people who testified about the good deeds of Goodman. "He knew he pushed that car in that canal. He knew someone was in there, and he left to try to save himself," Colbath said. "At the moment of truth, when given an opportunity to do the right thing, he ran to hide and try to save himself." Colbath granted a $7 million appellate bond so that his appellate team could argue for a new trial or reversal on appeal.

On the civil side, it is reported that the Wilsons received $40 million from Goodman's insurance company. This occurred in March of this year, just prior to the wrongful death trial beginning.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident by a driver under the influence of alcohol, contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend by calling 713-222-7211 or 1-800-870-9584.

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