LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — A nationally known professional tennis referee charged in her husband’s death has passed a lie detector test in which she denied bludgeoning him with a coffee cup, her lawyers said late Monday.
Lois Ann Goodman’s attorneys told The Associated Press that they have emailed the results to the district attorney’s office. They said they suggested that prosecutors reevaluate the case and consider dismissing charges against the 70-year-old woman.
“It’s really, really difficult for a novice who is not a member of an intelligence service to come close to beating a polygraph test,” said Jack Trimarco, a well-known FBI-trained polygrapher who administered the test.
Trimarco has conducted more than 3,000 polygraph exams, many in high-profile cases. His report was instrumental in getting charges dismissed against a man initially charged in a Dodger Stadium assault case.
The lead detective on the case, David Petique, had asked Goodman to take a polygraph test “to clear herself” when she was first under investigation in the month after her husband’s death, attorneys Alison Triessl and Robert Sheahan said. But she refused that request on May 3, they said, on advice of her former counsel.
Goodman’s attorneys said she has now fulfilled that request and passed with flying colors.
“I’m hopeful that they are going to reassess their case,” Treissl said in a phone interview. “The facts just don’t support that there was a murder. The results of the polygraph prove Lois Goodman did not kill her husband. He died in a freak accident.”
“Polygraphs cannot be used as evidence in court. Police use it to assist in the investigation. The polygraph Lois Goodman did was private, not overseen by the police department. It’s unknown the type of questions asked that pertains to this investigation,” Petique said.
A district attorney’s spokeswoman said the office will not comment until the material is brought up in court.
Goodman, 70, who has refereed matches between some of tennis’s greatest players, has pleaded not guilty to killing her 80-year-old husband by beating him with a coffee cup and using its broken handle to stab him. She has suggested Alan Goodman fell down the steps while holding a coffee cup, causing his fatal injuries.
Alan Goodman died in April. Authorities initially believed he fell down stairs at home while she was away but later decided it was homicide after a mortuary reported suspicious injuries on Alan Goodman’s head. Lois Ann Goodman was arrested in August just before she was to referee a match at the U.S. Open in New York.
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