John Goodman, Florida millionaire, guilty of manslaughter in drunk driving accident


The Audi and White Birch teams play against each other on the polo grounds of the International Polo Club during the US Open in Wellington, Fla., on April 23, 2009.


Joe Raedle

Palm Beach, Fla., polo club owner John Goodman has been found guilty of DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, failure to give information to authorities and failure to render aid after he crashed into a 22-year-old’s car in 2010, CNN reported.

Prosecutors said Goodman, 48, the founder of the International Polo Club Palm Beach and heir to an air conditioning fortune, had downed more than a dozen drinks before getting behind the wheel of his Bentley, Fox News reported. Goodman ran a stoplight, and sent 23-year-old Scott Wilson's car plunging into a canal.

"After the collision occurred, Goodman made no attempt to look for Wilson's vehicle and fled the scene of the collision on foot," according to the affidavit from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, CNN reported. "Goodman left the Bentley GTC at the scene ... and left Scott Wilson to drown in the canal, belted in the driver seat of his vehicle."

The Palm Beach County Medical Examiner told the jury that Wilson would have survived the crash had he not drowned, Fox News reported.

Goodman testified that he was not drunk, but, CNN reported:

A pair of tests taken three hours later showed Goodman's blood-alcohol content level was .177% and .178% -- and, based on those findings, a state toxicologist extrapolated that he was closer to a .20% or .23% at the time of the crash, more than three times Florida's legal limit.

Goodman faces up to 30 years in prison, Fox News reported. His bond has been revoked, and he will be detained by authorities until his sentencing hearing on April 30, CNN reported.

Things have certainly not been going John Goodman’s way this year. In January, he attracted attention when it came to light that he’d adopted his 42-year-old girlfriend, Heather Colby Hutchins, making her eligible to draw from the trust fund set up for his children.

More from GlobalPost: Rich guy adopts 42-year-old girlfriend amid lawsuit

Wilson’s relatives are suing Goodman for punitive damages and the court had previously said that this trust fund could not be considered part of his net worth, CNN reported. In late January, a judge said that Hutchins' "interest in the children's trust may be considered in connection with Defendant John Goodman's financial resources.”

More from GlobalPost: The Argentine economy's fuzzy math problem