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Tennis Umpire Accused of Murder

goodman2Tennis umpire Lois Goodman, 70, was accused of killing her 80-year-old husband, Alan Goodman. Prosecutors alleged she bludgeoned him to death with a coffee mug.

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LOS ANGELES (KTLA) – A tennis umpire who was charged with killing her husband, then cleared, filed a lawsuit on Friday against the Los Angeles Police Department and the L.A. County Coroner’s Office.

Lois Goodman’s 21-page complaint, filed in Los Angeles Federal Court, alleges false arrest, civil rights violations, malicious prosecution and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

She is seeking unspecified damages.

Goodman, 70, was accused of beating her husband Alan to death with a coffee mug at the couple’s Woodland Hills condominium.

Alan, who was 80 at the time, was found dead in April 2012.

Lois was arrested in New York City in August of 2012, just as she was about to serve as a line judge in a U.S. Open match.

Prosecutors decided to drop the murder charge against Goodman in November.

The district attorney’s office now says it believes Alan Goodman’s death was accidental.

loisgoodmanLOS ANGELES — Tennis umpire Lois “Lolo” Goodman was reinstated as a professional referee Friday in the wake of a decision by prosecutors to drop charges that she bludgeoned her husband to death, her attorney said Friday.

Goodman, a fixture on the U.S. Tennis Assn. circuit for a couple decades, had been sidelined since October following her arrest in New York on suspicion of killing her husband, Alan Goodman.

Last month, prosecutors decided to drop a murder charge against Lois Goodman without revealing their reasons. The move was made before her defense attorneys submitted a pathology report disputing coroner’s findings that her husband was deliberately killed and citing a heart attack as the cause of his death.

“This is a wonderful holiday gift for Lolo and her family,” said one of her attorneys, Kelly Gerner. “Lolo thanks the USTA for their prompt action and she wishes a happy holiday to her many friends and supporters.”

Goodman’s arrest in August made international headlines when police apprehended her in New York as she was on her way to referee qualifying matches for the U.S. Open.

Her lawyers said the USTA informed her Friday morning that they were lifting her suspension.

Although prosecutors have dropped the charges, Ed Winter, deputy chief of coroner’s investigations, said Alan Goodman’s April 17 death remains listed as a homicide and it remains an open police case.

Goodman, 70, said she found her husband dead at their Woodland Hills home. She told authorities that she came home and found a bloody trail up the stairs to their bedroom. She believed he had fallen, then made his way to bed. Responding officers believed her and the home was cleaned up.

But three days later, a coroner’s investigator visited the mortuary to sign the death certificate and reported he found “deep penetrating blunt force trauma” on Alan Goodman’s head and ears. The observations launched a homicide investigation. In a search warrant, a detective described how investigators had found blood throughout the home.

Lois Goodman’s lawyers later revealed that the tennis umpire’s DNA wasn’t even found on the alleged murder weapon, a coffee cup. She also passed a defense-arranged polygraph test conducted by a former FBI examiner, according to her lawyers.

On the day the case was dismissed, Goodman said: “I feel wonderful!”

“I want to thank my family and my attorneys, my friends. Their support has been wonderful. And I want to thank the D.A.’s office for doing the right thing. I have always maintained my innocence.”

Los Angeles Times

goodman-bigLOS ANGELES (KTLA) — Prosecutors have dropped the murder case against tennis umpire Lois Goodman in the death of her husband, citing insufficient evidence.

Goodman had been accused of bludgeoning her 80-year-old husband to death with a coffee mug on April 17 at their Woodland Hills home.

Goodman, who pleaded not guilty, spent two weeks in jail before being released on electronic monitoring on $500,000 bail.

A judge dismissed the case on Friday without prejudice, meaning it could be brought back.

Law enforcement sources tell the Los Angeles Times that the investigation is ongoing, and emphasized that it will continue.

But, experts retained by authorities said the evidence could show that Alan Goodman’s death was an accident, the Times reports.

It’s unclear if prosecutors will refile charges after additional investigation, or whether the doubts raised by their experts will lead them to scrap the case entirely.

Goodman told police that she came home and found her husband bloodied and dead in bed.

She said she believed he crawled there after falling down the stairs and onto the coffee cup he was carrying.

Police initially determined that there was no crime and allowed Goodman to transfer her husband’s body to a mortuary without an autopsy.

Authorities began to investigate three days later, on the eve of his cremation, when a coroner’s investigator at the funeral home noticed a deep wound on Alan Goodman’s head.

Prosecutors had argued that Lois Goodman bludgeoned her ailing husband with the mug and then stabbed him with the shards when it shattered.

They alleged that she left him to die and went off to a tennis match and to get a manicure.

On the other side, Goodman’s attorney, Robert Sheahen, had described the incident as a “terrible accident.”

He said Goodman passed a lie detector test and that an initial DNA test did not find her DNA on the broken pieces of the cup.

The defense also argued that Goodman would not have had the strength to kill her husband because of her many physical ailments.

They said in a court motion that Goodman has two bad knees, a replaced left shoulder, a torn rotator cuff, rheumatoid arthritis and back pain that requires a pain-blocking implant.

Goodman’s family has stood by her throughout the case. Her daughter, Alison Rogers, told KTLA in an interview that the accusations were “ridiculous.”

“It’s not my mom,” Rogers said. “My parents were happily married for 50 years. No fighting, not even a curse word. Nothing.”

Goodman was arrested on Aug. 21 in New York City, where she was preparing to serve as a line judge at the U.S. Open, and then extradited back to Los Angeles.

Goodman’s family has set up a defense fund to raise money to help cover her legal bills: