John Goodman defense questions lead investigator in DUI manslaughter trial

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Of course, both prosecutors and Goodman’s attorneys had to walk delicately around the issue with Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Deputy Troy Snelgrove, careful not to tell the jury about the prior trial, which they are not supposed to know about.

But Goodman attorney Elizabeth Parker only asked Snelgrove a few questions about the Bentley release – a subject that was the basis of multiple hearing s over several months in Goodman’s retrial. Snelgrove has spent nearly two days on the witness stand in Goodman’s retrial.

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“You could have had the cars here for the jury to look at, couldn’t you?” Parker asked.

“I could,” Snelgrove said.

“But you released the cars prematurely, didn’t you?” Parker continued.

“I did,” Snelgrove said, offering nothing more.

Goodman prosecutor Sherri Collins is now re-questioning Snelgrove and will likely finish by 3 p.m.

Testimony will likely end today after prosecutors question a short witness after Snelgrove. Prosecutors will end their case Monday after testimony from forensic toxicologist Dustin Tate Yeatman.


UPDATE 11:47 a.m.: As the lunch break neared in the seventh day of John Goodman’s DUI manslaughter retrial, Goodman’s attorney was still winding up to a confrontation with the lead investigator in his case over the early release of Goodman’s Bentley from state evidence.

Defense attorney Elizabeth Parker instead pressed Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Cpl. Troy Snelgrove on why he didn’t check for Goodman’s DNA at Goodman pal Kris Kampsen’s barn. Part of Goodman’s defense is that he chugged liquor at Kampsen’s barn after the 2010 crash that killed Scott Wilson, which would explain his .177 blood alcohol level hours after the crash.

She also brought up a pouring test prosecutors and Snelgrove had Goodman bartender Cathleen Lewter conduct at the State Attorney’s Office after Lewter changed her original estimates on how heavily she poured the shots of tequila and vodka she served Goodman at The Players Club in Wellington.

“Have you ever done that before in your 20 years of experience?” Parker asked Snelgrove.

Assistant State Attorney Sherri Collins immediately objected, and Chief Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath sided with her, prohibiting Snelgrove from answering.

A few prosecutor objections that Colbath upheld also appeared to stop Parker from going as far as she wanted to in trying to discredit the car weights Snelgrove used for his crash calculations.

According to Parker’s questions, it could have rained 18 times from the day a two truck dropped the cars at the impound lot until the day he weighed the cars. Snelgrove took no photos or otherwise offered evidence that the scale was properly calibrated, Parker got him to say.

Parker also pointed out that Snelgrove never got statements from the two deputies who escorted Goodman from the crash site to the hospital.

After Snelgrove gets off the stand sometime this afternoon, prosecutors expect to call one more short witness before forensic toxicologist Dustin Tate Yeatman, who is expected to be the final state witness against Goodman.


ORIGINAL POST: Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath is expected to issue a ruling Monday on The Palm Beach Post’s request to get excerpts from a civil case interview of John Goodman that prosecutors obtained in his DUI manslaughter case.

Goodman’s defense team on Friday filed an emergency request asking Colbath to block the more than 200 pages of documents from public view, saying it contained financial information and was an invasion of Goodman’s privacy.

Colbath, Goodman defense attorney Douglas Duncan and The Post’sattorney Bryce Albu discussed the matter this morning before jurors began hearing testimony in what has become the seventh day of Goodman’s retrial in the death of Scott Patrick Wilson. In the end, the judge decided he would review the documents himself to see if there was anything in it that should be sealed.

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Albu said the law was clear that the documents became public records when prosecutors obtained them from lawyers in a wrongful death suit Wilson’s parents settled with Goodman’s insurance company a week before his 2012 criminal trial. Albu cited a few exceptions to the rule, but said Goodman’s case didn’t fit those exceptions.

Colbath asked if he could put off ruling until after the case was over, but Albu said the law was clear on that as well.

“Access to public records should be prompt,” Albu said. “We had an expectation that we could get access to the documents today.”

Duncan, who reiterated to Colbath the information they felt was private concerned Goodman’s finances, cited a law saying that any party to a criminal case can seek to protect public access to records in a case if those records invade someone’s privacy.

Colbath will review the transcripts over the weekend and says he will issue a ruling Monday.

Testimony has resumed in Goodman’s case with Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Cpl. Troy Snelgrove, the lead investigator in Goodman’s case.