WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami) – It’s good to have millions. Just ask John Goodman, who was spared the indignity of prison Monday while his attorneys appeal his DUI manslaughter conviction by putting up what is believed to be the biggest appeal bond in Palm Beach County history.
Wednesday, Goodman was granted bond by Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath, who required the Polo mogul and his family to post $7 million to guarantee he will remain within the long arm of the law during his appeal.
Goodman also faces a host of other conditions imposed by the judge who is clearly worried that Goodman’s vast resources could make it easy for him to thumb his nose at the justice system and simply split.
In addition to the $7 million bond, Goodman will remain under house arrest and confined to his International Polo Club property in Wellington. He must submit to random drug and alcohol testing at his own expense and wear and electronic monitoring device. He turned in his passport a month ago. But the judge noted earlier this week that Goodman owns his own plane, and could simply leave the country if he wanted to.
So Goodman has agreed to pay for round-the-clock police supervision; in effect, he’s paying for his own guards, 24/7/365.
He can leave the house to go to work, but only because his house and office are on the Polo Club property. No social activities, said the judge. No drinking. No drugs not prescribed by a doctor.
And there’s one big wild card. Goodman arranged to adopt his 42-year-old girlfriend on what critics claim is an effort to gain control of hundreds of millions in trust funds for his children.
Judge Colbath said if the courts OK the adoption and increase the chance Goodman will have access to that money, he will remove the bond and put Goodman behind bars.
Attorneys admit that if Goodman was just an average guy with average resources, bond while on appeal would be virtually routine, so simply denying bond is difficult to justify. However, Goodman will have a lot of eyes on him while he awaits the decision of the justice system, and the family of the man he’s been convicted of killing waits for closure.
A jury convicted Goodman in March of being drunk when he crashed his Bentley into Scott Wilson’s car in 2010. Wilson’s car plunged into a canal, where he drowned. Authorities say Goodman left the scene and waited nearly an hour to call 911. His blood alcohol level measured more than twice the legal driving limit.
Goodman was sentenced Friday to 16 years in prison.
The multimillionaire is founder and owner of the International Polo Club. His attorney plans to appeal the conviction.