International Polo Club Palm Beach Founder John Goodman Sentenced to 16 years for DUI Manslaughter

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John Goodman. Photo: Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida, May 11–John Goodman, whose International Polo Club sponsored the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach, on Friday was sentenced to 16 years in prison for the driving under the influence manslaughter of a 23-year-old engineering graduate in February, 2010.

The 48-year-old founder of IPC and heir to an air coditioning manufacturing business had been found guilty of driving his Bentley convertible into the car of Scott Wilson in Wellington and pushed it into a canal where he drowned in the early hours of the morning of Feb. 12, 2010. Scott Wilson was driving to his home in Wellington.

Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath passed the sentence that was in the middle of the 20 years recommended by the prosecutor and the 11 1/2 years urged by the defense. The maximum sentence was 30 years.

“He knew he pushed that car in that canal. He knew someone was in there, and he left to try to save himself,” the judge said. “At the moment of truth, when given an opportunity to do the right thing, he ran to hide, and try to save himself.”

The Wilson family received $40 million from John Goodman’s insurance company before the March trial to settle a wrongful death suit.

IPC Palm Beach was the presenting sponsor of the WDM events in 2011 and 2012.