Tennis Ref Accused in Coffee Mug Murder Passed Polygraph: Lawyer

Lois 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

By Linda Deutsch
|  Tuesday, Oct 9, 2012  |  Updated 1:00 PM EDT
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Tennis referee Lois Goodman was arrested in New York on suspicion of killing her husband with a coffee mug in Los Angeles.

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Lawyers for a nationally known professional tennis referee charged in her husband's death say she has passed a lie detector test in which she denied bludgeoning him with a coffee cup.

Lois Ann Goodman's attorneys told The Associated Press late Monday that they have emailed the results to the district attorney's office. They said they suggested that prosecutors re-evaluate the case and consider dismissing charges against the 70-year-old woman.

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 Sheahen said. But she refused that request on May 3, they said, on advice of her former counsel.

They said she has now fulfilled that request and passed.

"I'm hopeful that they are going to reassess their case," Triessl 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."

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.

Triessl said the lie detector test was given by a well-known FBI-trained polygrapher, Jack Trimarco, who has administered 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.

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