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A high-profile referee who officiates at U.S. Open tennis matches was arrested in Midtown Tuesday on suspicion of bludgeoning her 80-year-old husband to death with a coffee mug in Los Angeles in April, authorities said. Lori Bordonaro has more. (Photo courtesy NY Daily News)
A professional tennis referee has arrived in Los Angeles from New York to face a charge that she killed her 80-year-old husband with a coffee mug, as police revealed details on why they didn't believe his death was an accident.
Lois Goodman arrived late Thursday and was taken to a police station near the airport. The 70-year-old agreed that she would not fight extradition to California after she was arrested Tuesday in New York, where she was to serve as a line judge for next week's U.S. Open. It was one of many high-profile tournaments she had worked since 1979.
"She's anxious to defend herself" in California, said her New York lawyer, Guy Oksenhendler.
He questioned authorities' decision to arrest her in New York, suggesting it was a tactic to get headlines on two coasts.
"My concern is that their actions may prejudice her defense in California," he said.
Los Angeles police has said Goodman was poised to be in New York for several weeks and police wanted to move swiftly to arrest a murder suspect.
Goodman, who traveled in her official U.S. Open warm-up suit, was expected to be arraigned on Monday.
Her husband, Alan Goodman, died on April 17 at the couple's condominium in the Woodland Hills neighborhood. Authorities briefly accepted Lois Goodman's explanation that she returned home to find a blood-covered coffee mug and her husband lying in bed not breathing after most likely falling down the stairs.
Two paramedics made note of an odd-shaped wound on his head, according to a police detective's affidavit obtained by the Los Angeles Times and KCAL-TV.
A coroner's investigator who was sent to a mortuary to sign the death certificate set off a homicide investigation when he saw cuts around the man's head and ears, the records showed. An autopsy later found bits of the coffee cup in the cuts.
When police executed a subsequent search warrant, they found blood throughout the house "inconsistent with accidental death" and suggesting a "mobile victim," the affidavit said.
During the search, police seized evidence that Lois Goodman had been communicating on the Internet with another man, though the nature of that relationship was not clear.
The affidavit said one email contained the phrases "terminating a relationship," and having "alternative sleeping arrangements," though police could not determine to what they referred.
During her initial questioning, Goodman "went out of her way to account for her time on the day of the deceased death" and showed other signs the death may not have been an accident.
"Lois' emotional reaction to what she had seen and the loss of her husband was not typical of that of a grieving spouse," the affidavit said.
Detectives worked the case for four months. An arrest warrant was filed Aug. 14.