Prosecutors drop murder charges against U.S. Open tennis official

Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:57pm EST
 

By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Los Angeles judge dismissed murder charges on Friday against a 70-year-old tennis lineswoman who was accused of beating her husband to death with a coffee mug, and arrested in August as she prepared to officiate at the U.S. Open.

The dismissal was granted following a request from prosecutors who said they were unable to proceed with the case against Lois Goodman. A Los Angeles County District Attorney's spokeswoman said in a terse statement only that "additional information" had come forward.

"Based upon this information, we announced that we are unable to proceed with the case at this time. The court granted our request to dismiss the case without prejudice," spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said.

"Because there is an ongoing police and district attorney's investigation, we will not make any further statements that might compromise that investigation," she said.

The decision by Superior Court Judge Jessica Silvers to dismiss the case without prejudice means that charges could be re-filed against Goodman in the future.

"I'm so happy," Goodman told reporters outside court. "I feel wonderful. I've always maintained my innocence. It was just a tragic accident."

Goodman, who faced a maximum sentence of life in prison if she had been convicted at trial, said prosecutors had done the "right thing" in dropping the case.

Goodman is well known in tennis circles and had worked at the annual U.S. Open Tennis Championships tournament for at least the past 10 years, mainly as a line judge, according to the U.S. Tennis Association.   Continued...