DA drops murder case against tennis umpire

Los Angeles county prosecutors said only that new information led them to dismiss the murder charge against Lois Goodman over the death of her 80-year-old husband, Alan Goodman, in the couple's Woodland Hills condo last April. She said he had fallen down the stairs and insisted all along she was innocent; a defense expert suggested he died of a heart attack; prosecutors have previously contended she clubbed him to death with a coffee mug. The LA Times reports tonight that law enforcement sources say medical experts consulted by the DA disagreed with the coroner and concluded the death could be the result of an accident.

The finding added to a long list of problems with the case, the sources said, that included a lack of a clear motive as well as other physical evidence that could help the defense. Moreover, genetic tests found none of Goodman's DNA on the piece of the coffee mug that prosecutors had alleged she used to kill her husband.

After she left the courtroom Friday a free woman, Goodman, 70, insisted she was innocent and said she wanted to get back on the professional tennis tour, where she has been a fixture for decades.

"I feel wonderful," she said, standing in the rain outside the Van Nuys courthouse, flanked by her attorneys. "I just feel I have been treated fairly now and it was just a tragic accident."

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